School districts serving K-12 students need to be aware of bills passed during the 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature relating to Teacher Retirement System (TRS) retirees.
While the provisions for retirees don’t impact the majority of current employees, HR departments should be aware of changes in the event former employees or rehired retirees have questions.
Retiree Annuity Adjustments
Subject to the passage of a constitutional amendment, section 1 of Senate Bill (SB) 10 provides for a one-time cost of living adjustment (COLA) to annuitants. Adjustments to annuities would begin January 2024 in graduated amounts depending on the annuitant’s date of retirement, date of death, or the date of the annuitant’s election. The amount of the adjustment will be calculated by multiplying the amount of the monthly benefit subject to the adjustment by the following percentage rates, as applicable:
- If the effective date of retirement was on or before August 31, 2001: 6 percent increase
- If retired after August 31, 2001, but on or before August 31, 2013: 4 percent increase
- If retired after August 31, 2013, but on or before August 31, 2020: 2 percent increase
The COLA is contingent on voter approval of a constitutional amendment. If the amendment doesn’t pass, retirees will not see an increase to their annuity.
One-Time Payment to Annuitants
Section 2 of SB 10 provides a one-time supplemental payment to annuitants who are 70 years of age or older. Annuitants who are 75 years of age and older will receive $7,500. Those who are at least 70 years old but younger than 75 will receive $2,400. This provision is effective immediately and contingent upon appropriations which were included in the budget.
Dental and Vision Care
Currently, TRS-Care does not offer vision or dental plans, requiring enrolled retirees to seek coverage through the private market. SB 1854 requires TRS to provide vision and dental plans that retirees, dependents, surviving spouses, and surviving dependent children can enroll in for an additional cost.
Effective September 1, 2023.
Additional information on changes as a result of the 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature in the areas below is available in the following HRX articles:
April Mabry oversees HR Services training services, member library products, and the HRX newsletter. She has provided HR training and guidance to Texas public schools since 1991. Mabry was a classroom teacher for 11 years in Texas and Michigan.
Mabry has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and certification as a professional in human resources (PHR) and is a SHRM-CP.
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