TSTA testifies in support of protecting TRS pensions

On March 12, TSTA appeared and testified at a TRS town-hall meeting at TRS’ headquarters. The meeting consisted of the same presentations on the pension and health-care studies that were given in Lubbock last month. TSTA testified as follow:

Since the onset of the attacks on public pension systems, TSTA has been out front arguing that a defined benefit plan gives Texas teachers the best bang for the buck. TSTA believes that all of the information and analysis included in the pension report will underscore our position.

TSTA asked that each element of each plan that could be altered include a member impact statement for current and future beneficiaries. TSTA also asked that the reports, especially the member impact statements, be broken down as much as possible into layman’s terms in order to educate the legislature on the issues that will be facing Texas teachers if either TRS-Care or the pension plan is altered.

Finally, TSTA pointed out that these studies will impact a population that has not seen an annuity increase in over a decade, who spend a disproportionate amount of their income on health-care costs, which are increasing dramatically, while retirees’ buying power is decreasing. TSTA pleaded with TRS to help ensure the utmost protection to this vulnerable population.

TSTA’s remarks were met with enthusiastic applause from the audience. A special note of thanks to all TSTA-R members who showed up in numbers in support of TSTA’s position. Thanks also to TSTA Staff who made a special trip to the town-hall meeting as well.

TRS will conduct another town-hall meeting on April 4 in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.