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LETTER TO THE EDITOR — It’s time for public school employees to receive a COLA in their pensions

It’s been 17 years since many retired public school employees received a Cost Of Living adjustment in their pension.

The Texas Retired Teachers Association has worked with state legislators for many years advocating improved funding for the Texas Retirement System and its TRS Care medical plan.

TRS manages the sixth largest public pension fund in the nation. The TRS pension fund is actuarially sound and can support a COLA for these retired employees.

TRS benefits are modest. More than half of TRS retirees earn less than $2,000 a month. TRS is not coordinated with Social Security, and 96 percent of TRS retirees do not pay into the federal program.

Most TRS retirees do not receive any Social Security income, including spousal or widower’s benefits, due to the federal Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision laws.

Members of the Mid-Jefferson County Retired School Personnel are participating in a letter-writing campaign supporting the COLA request.

These letters are being mailed in red envelopes, featuring the color worn by TRTA members during advocacy visits to Austin in previous legislative years.

Although personal visits to our legislators are not allowed this year, MJCRSP members will participate in the virtual Zoom To The Capitol Rally starting April 5.

Everyone is invited to contact their legislators and support the COLA for Texas public school retirees.

Membership in TRTA/MJCRSP is only $45 a year. Information and membership forms can be found on the Mid-Jefferson County Retired School Personnel webpage at mjcrsp.org.

 

— Charlie Jehlen, Mid-Jefferson County Retired School Personnel president and Groves resident