Demand a Better Retirement for All Texas Teachers

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Texas Teachers for Retirement Solutions started this petition to Texas State House and

The Texas Retirement System is failing a majority of Texas teachers. At present, TRS has a $51 billion shortfall, money that the state owes for future retirement benefits that could otherwise be put in teachers’ paychecks or into classrooms. And only about 20 percent of teachers will ever earn the full retirement benefit that has been promised.

Surely we can do better. We wouldn’t accept it if our education system was designed to only graduate 1 out of every 5 students. For the health of the profession and the students we serve, we must do better in ensuring that all Texas teachers are on the road to a secure retirement. 

We know retirement benefits are complicated and fall short for most of Texas' educators because we ARE Texas educators. We are a group of teachers from across the state who came together to learn about how our retirement works and propose better retirement policy solutions. 

We want fundamental change to how benefits are provided that account for the diverse needs of ALL Texas teachers - including choices of different benefit design and financial literacy education. 

We, Texas Teachers for Retirement Solutions, are calling on the Texas Legislature to commit to honoring the following key principles and recommendations:

1. Ensure that future changes to teacher retirement benefits are guided by three essential principles:

  • Choice, Guarantees, and Agency: Teachers should have choices, including retirement options that offer both guarantees and agency.
  • Portability is Key: Teachers should have the ability to keep the retirement income they’ve earned throughout their career, no matter where they teach or for how long.
  • Prioritize Financial Education: Teachers should have the educational information they need to make informed decisions about their financial future.

Read more about these principles and how TRS falls short

2. Account for the retirement needs of all teachers, not just those who will work a full career. We recommend the following:

  • Offer new teachers multiple retirement options so that they can choose a plan that best meets their needs, financial goals and priorities, and future plans. 
  • Allow current teachers the option to switch from their current retirement plan into one of these new options.
  • Reduce the current, overly optimistic assumption about future investment performance, and adopt a more realistic perspective on the future. 
  • Provide teachers with comprehensive and understandable educational materials to make informed decisions about their retirement plans. 
  • Allow new educators the ability to defer their enrollment in any retirement plan and have the employer contributions that would have been paid on their behalf put toward paying down student loans.

Read more about these recommendations

Please join us in supporting Texas educators by co-signing this petition. We’ve devoted our careers to helping students, and we deserve the secure retirement we were promised. 

Thank you, 

Texas Teachers for Retirement Solutions 

 

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