NOBODY WINS under SB1458
- Over two thirds of retirees would not qualify for a COLA, leaving 200,000 retirees without a COLA for 12 years (and counting)
- This bill would hit Texas teachers in the pocketbook, when they already feel disrespected by the state after enduring budget cuts, layoffs and classroom time lost to high stakes standardized tests.
- This proposal could drive more good teachers from the profession – simply because the state will not step up and do its part.
- The state says it has no more money, but it has more than teachers do.
SB 1458 Asks Too Much of Current Teachers and Employees
- SB1458 would increase the employee contribution from 6.4% next year to 7.7% in the following year – coupled with a 1.5% local ISD contribution.
- The 7.7% employee rate would amount to a take home pay cut for current employees, which will amount to a double hit because local districts will pay more to the TRS fund, who will pass that cost on to teachers.
- The bill grandfathers only those teachers vested for five years instead of all teachers, encouraging those teachers left out to leave the profession.
SB1458 Does Too Little for Retirees
- 70% of retirees would get nothing, just as they have for the last 12 years
- The nominal COLA (3%, capped at $100) for employees who have been retired for 15 years would cover less than one third – only about 30% – of all retirees.
- The COLA is not guaranteed – it depends on how these nominal changes would impact actuarial soundness – something that requires a state investment.
We Can Do Better – The Legislature Should:
- Enact any increase in active employee contributions in steps over 3 years to cushion the impact of moving from 6.4 percent to 7.7 percent in one year. If this is about long term actuarial soundness, a phased-in step increase would meet that goal, and the state should match such increases.
- Do what TRS actuaries recommended – provide for a higher state contribution as recommended by HB1383 by Rep. Jim Keffer, raising the state contribution rate to 6.9 % in fiscal year 2014 and 7.4% in fiscal year 2015.
- Include the provisions of SB 643 (Deuell) and HB 103 (Larry Gonzales) to provide a benefit for all retirees in a 13th check during the upcoming biennium.
Contact your legislator today and use these talking points to tell them to “VOTE NO” on SB 1458. To find out who your legislators are visit www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us or call the Capitol Switchboard at 512-463-4630.