/CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/Retirement-TRS-Social-Security/1_Our-Blog_Category_Retirement-TRS-Social-Security_750x330.png?ext=.png /CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/Retirement-TRS-Social-Security/1_Our-Blog_Category_Retirement-TRS-Social-Security_750x330.png?ext=.png

TRS Trustees discuss pension fund and more this week

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Retirement | TRS | Social Security

Date Posted: 2/26/2021 | Author: Monty Exter

The Teacher Retirement System (TRS) Board of Trustees held a condensed version of their regularly scheduled board meeting this Friday, February 26. It capped off a long and active week for TRS staff, which included testifying before House and Senate budget committees on three separate days.

One major takeaway from the board meeting is that the TRS pension fund ended 2020 at an all-time high value of $177 billion, after a one-year return of 11.6%. This is even more impressive considering that in March 2020, the fund sat at $144 billion and was experiencing a negative 8% year-to-date interest rate.

Based on these strong returns, in addition to the continued implementation of Senate Bill 12 from the 2019 legislative session, TRS is on track to reach full funding in approximately 26 years. This is significantly less that the 31-year funding window required in order for the fund to be considered actuarially sound under state law. If these trends continue, it will also put the pension fund in a favorable position to be able to implement a true cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in the next legislative session, if legislators choose to authorize a COLA.

In addition to the standard items considered by the board, they took a look at TRS-ActiveCare, which has been a growing area of focus for the agency. TRS staff and consultants have found that, while the total cost of TRS health insurance plans are 15–25% lower than the cost of active educator plans in benchmark states, Texas employers (the state and school districts combined) spend much less toward Texas educators’ health insurance than peer states. The state and districts have a combined statutory requirement to provide $225 per month ($75 state/$150 districts). On average, districts using TRS-ActiveCare spend an additional $75 per month over the statutory requirement. However, the approximately $300 per month Texas employers are spending on educator health insurance coverage is 35–45% less than what peer states pay. As a result, despite the low overall cost of TRS-ActiveCare coverage, educators face higher-than-average employee costs and a substantial affordability problem when it comes to their health insurance.

The next TRS board meeting is scheduled for April 14–16. You can find board material and archived video of this week's meeting here.



Elaine Hutzelman

Speaking as a retired teacher in 2004, how can one expect us to survive on the same annuity that we had 17 years ago? No other state employee is expected to get by on no increases for so long. In addition to this, those who should receive full SS pay who worked other jobs while teaching are also subject to inequality by not receiving the amount we are due for our own contributions? TX sure knows how to punish their retired teachers,who dedicated years of their lives as a labor of love.

laurie mcdaniel

Perhaps including our healthcare as a benefit like State employees would help retired teachers live on their pension.

Pam Wilson

We educators are definitely the State’s “stepchildren” when it comes to befits.

Deann Lee

Overall, great news!

Bridget Harper

Why can’t teachers receive a full retirement benefit when retiring? A full retirement of what we make at the end of retirement? Why aren’t we considered state employees and receive full benefits ~ it would be so amazing to receive what we make monthly instead of seeing that cut in half when we retire! This has got to change~ for we make the changes , hold on to the future and our hearts remain in the past. Please support us in our future.

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