Texas legislators consider teacher pension solutions, one-time relief checks

Published: May. 21, 2019 at 6:46 PM CDT
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The Texas House recently voted to move legislation forward that would help make the Teacher Retirement System pension fund financially healthy--or least, more so.

Senate Bill 12 would also give one-time checks to retired teachers.

For James Warner, legislative director of the BCS Retired School Personnel, this is a "beginning of a solution," with emphasis on "beginning."

Education retirees have been on a fixed income that hasn't changed since 2011.

"Every year, your purchasing power is less," said Warner on First News at Four. That's why he's been advocating for increased state funding to the pension fund.

"We eventually want to reach a point where a cost-of-living adjustment is possible," Warner said.

Now, Warner and his fellow retired educators might get that--by the year 2025. The plan, which is in conference committee, would increase the contributions incrementally.

"Of course half of us will be dead by 2025, which is the reason for the pressure to issue a '13th check' to retired educators," said Warner.

Warner is referencing the one-time check that is currently part of the legislation. He says it could be anywhere in the $500-$2,400 range.

"But again, 2025 is a long way off, so we would be looking at--I hope--additional adjustments until then," said Warner.

For the full conversation with Warner, see the video player above.