ATTENTION TRS MEMBERS: Take action NOW to save our pensions

Send an Email to the TRS Board of Trustees

We must urge the TRS Board of Trustees to protect our pensions by rejecting any recommendation made by the 2017 experience study to lower TRS’ assumed rate of return. Let them know there’s no reason to make this change and it will only hurt current and future retirees. The 2017 experience study is being rushed for political reasons, and as such, urge them to reject its recommendations. Send an email today to: trscomments@trs.texas.gov

Sign or download our ONLINE PETITION

Along with posting our petition to the TRS Board online, you can also download a copy of the petition and distribute it among fellow TRS members. Add your name to the hundreds of others calling on the TRS Board to DON’T RUSH THE STUDY – protect our pensions.


 

TSEU Executive Board and TRS member Anne Lewis [seated at the far left] addresses the TRS Board during their Fall meeting; defending our pensions from a harmfully-timed study expected to lower the rate of return for the fund, eliminating prospects for a COLA for TRS members.

BACKGROUND: Despite a very good report on the health of the pension fund in December, anti-pension lawmakers and groups are pushing for TRS to lower its expected rate of return. State law requires TRS to conduct an experience study only once every 5 years. The last study conducted in 2015 indicated that TRS’ 8% assumed rate of return was reasonable. The TRS 2017 experience study was conducted 3 years too soon and is anticipated to recommend that TRS lower the assumed rate of return.

Such a move would be a huge blow to the funding status of our retirement benefits. A lower expected rate of return means TRS pensions will suddenly appear to be in much worse financial health. TRS’ ability to provide retirees a long overdue cost of living increase depends entirely on an accurate projection of the health of the fund, something that would be hindered by a study conducted sooner than the 5-year time frame required by law. If TRS appears to be in bad shape, it also makes it easier for lawmakers to justify taking away our pensions and pushing state university workers into risky 401(k)-style plans. TSEU members fought hard and succeeded in defeating several 401(k) conversion bills in the 2017 legislative session, but the fight is not over and we must continue to organize.

Very soon the TRS Board of Trustees will vote on whether or not to accept the recommendations of this politically-timed study and lower the assumed rate of return below 8%. If they vote to lower it, the health and sustainability of our pension will take a huge step backward, and the door will be open to losing our defined benefit pension plans completely.