FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/20/2013
REP. SIMMONS VOTES IN SUPPORT OF IMPROVING TEACHER RETIREMENT
SB 1458 will shore up Teacher Retirement System, Retiree Healthcare, Cost of Living pay
AUSTIN – Today, Rep. Ron Simmons cast a vote in support of SB 1458, the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) omnibus reform bill which passed the Texas House of Representatives. Among other things, the bill increases the state share of contributions to TRS to 6.8% by the end of the 2014-2015 biennium, an important action needed to restore the fund to actuarial soundness.
Rep. Simmons, the son of two retired public school teachers, stated, "For our retired teachers, promises made should be promises kept. This bill honors the state's commitment to our teachers with prudent and reasonable investments designed to ensure the fund is there for generations to come."
The bill also authorizes a 3% cost of living increase to those who have been retired for 15 years or more but also provides for additional such increases next fiscal year if the fund can meet certain financial standards.
TRS-Care, the teacher retirement healthcare program that faced financial crisis, was also shored up by SB 1458. While grandfathering retirees with 25 years of service or a combined 70 years of service plus age, new retirees will be eligible at age 62.
Simmons commented, "Without this bill, our retired teachers faced a reduction of health benefits in the near future. I’m pleased to support this legislation which will keep our teachers healthy in their golden years."
SB 1458 will now head back to the Senate where the body will either concur with House amendments or call for a conference committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions.
Serving in his first term, Rep. Ron Simmons represents House District 65 in southeast Denton County, including parts of Lewisville, Carrollton, Hebron, North Dallas, and Highland Village.