Association of Texas Professional Educators
   

Retirement

403(b) Plans

TRS

The Teacher Retirement System (TRS) provides lifetime service retirement benefits to all eligible public school employees in Texas through a defined benefit plan. TRS retirees are also eligible for health care coverage through the TRS-Care health insurance program.

Educators that meet the requirements for retirement are entitled to apply to receive a monthly annuity calculated according to state law. If you became a public school employee prior to Sept. 1, 2007, and maintain your TRS membership until retirement, you will meet the age and service requirements for normal-age service retirement when:

You are age 65 with five or more years of service credit.
or
Your age and years of service credit total 80 and you have at least five years of service credit.

If you first became a public school employee or returned to the profession on or after Sept. 1, 2007, you will meet the age and service requirements for normal-age service retirement when:

You are age 65 with five or more years of service credit.
or
You are at least age 60, and your age and years of service credit total 80, and you have at least five years of service credit.

For all TRS members who are not vested (i.e., have fewer than five years of established service credit) by Aug. 31, 2014, and for all future members who are hired on or after Sept. 1, 2014, to retire with a normal-age, unreduced pension you must:

  • Be at least age 62.
  • Meet the rule of 80.
  • Have at least five years of service credit.

All TRS members who have at least five years of service credit by Aug. 31, 2014, will be subject to the retirement eligibility rules currently in law.

Tips from TRS

  • Keep your address current with TRS and regularly review and update your designation of beneficiary as you experience life events.
  • Include your social security number on each document you submit to TRS.
  • Contact TRS at least six months before your anticipated retirement date.
  • Contact TRS if you wish to purchase special service credit. The cost of purchasing special service credit increases after Aug. 31 of each year. Special service credit cannot be purchased after retirement.
  • Members with service in another Texas public retirement system participating in the proportionate retirement program may establish eligibility for a retirement benefit based on combined years of service.
  • Members over the age of 70.5 who no longer work for a Texas public education employer must begin distribution of TRS benefits or withdraw their account in order to avoid federal income tax penalties.

ATPE’s legislative positions on TRS

ATPE supports the dedication of all available revenue to maintain the actuarial soundness of the pension fund in order to improve benefits for all active and retired TRS members. In addition, ATPE supports an increased state contribution rate, an increase of the retirement formula multiplier, the establishment of TRS benefits comparable to state employee retirement benefits and continued control of TRS funds at the state level.

ATPE recommends that the state:

  • Provide for one year of state-paid retirement credit for every 50 days of unused, accumulated state leave.
  • Require that a majority of TRS board members be public educators.
  • Maintain the Rule of 80 formula for retirement eligibility without penalties for early-age retirement.
  • Provide an annual cost-of-living increase for retired educators.
  • Maintain the current defined-benefit pension plan for all TRS members.
  • Give TRS contributions the same weight as Social Security contributions for the purpose of calculating child support payments.

For complete information on all TRS programs, including eligibility requirements, benefit calculation and eligibility for the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program, consult the TRS Benefits Handbook, visit the TRS website at www.trs.state.tx.us or call TRS at (800) 223-8778.

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