TRS BOARD: Don’t rush the study – Protect our pensions!

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The following petition is intended only for members of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas

We, as members of the Teachers Retirement System of Texas, urge the TRS Board of Trustees to protect our pensions by rejecting any recommendation made as a result of the upcoming experience study that would negatively impact the funding ratio of our retirement plan. TRS should wait to act on any recommendations until the 2020 Experience Study.

The TRS 2017 experience study is unnecessary because it is being conducted three years too early! State law says that TRS must conduct an experience study only once every 5 years. TRS’ last experience study was conducted in 2015. That experience study said that TRS’ 8% assumed rate of return was reasonable. Now, anti-pension lawmakers and groups are pushing for TRS to lower its expected rate of return. Such a move would be a huge blow to the funding status of our retirement benefits. The ERS Board of Trustees recently lowered their expected rate of return, causing the fund to lower their funding period from 31 years to “never.”

The health of our pension is important enough to deserve thorough research provided by the largest window of time allowed between studies. 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 5-year time frame required by law. The 2017 experience study is being rushed for political reasons, and as such we urge you to reject its recommendations.

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