Texas AFT Opposes New Cuts in TRS Benefits, Supports Higher State Contributions

San Antonio AllianceUncategorized

In the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs on November 19, testimony from the Teacher Retirement System’s executive director showed your pension fund has rebounded powerfully from the Great Recession, regaining $40 billion in value since early 2009. The TRS pension fund is in good shape to keep paying benefits for many decades to come, though it currently lacks the funding base needed per state law to make permanent benefit improvements feasible.

Texas AFT legislative spokesman Ted Melina Raab testified that the state needs to contribute significantly more to the TRS pension fund to hasten the day when benefit improvements can be made. He noted that for many years the state paid in substantially less than TRS members themselves, depriving the TRS pension fund of billions of dollars in contributions and ensuing investment gains that could have been reaped from those contributions. Melina Raab also urged increased state funding for the separate (and chronically underfunded) TRS-Care health program for retired school employees. TRS Care is projected to need an infusion of state funding not for the 2014-2015 biennium
but soon thereafter. Read More