TRS and ERS for Active Employees
Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)
The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) administers a defined benefit retirement plan for eligible Texas public education employees, such as those who work for a school district or higher education institution. Upon retirement, you may transfer creditable service between ERS and TRS. You may also buy back TRS service to transfer to ERS at retirement and increase your monthly retirement payment.
If you are an active ERS member, you may reestablish prior TRS service for the purpose of transfer without becoming a TRS member. An active ERS member may reinstate service credit in TRS that was previously withdrawn.
If you are an active TRS member, you may reestablish prior ERS service for the purpose of transfer without becoming an ERS member.
Service established in either system for the purpose of transfer is subject to the TRS rules for determining how much service is actually creditable.
Following are some important things to know about transferring ERS and TRS service credit:
- TRS members who transfer all service to ERS at retirement are not eligible to convert annual and sick leave to ERS credit.
- Transfer of credit happens on the day you retire from ERS or TRS.
- Withdrawn TRS service will not transfer to ERS. To inquire about your TRS withdrawn service, contact TRS toll-free at (800) 223-8778.
- Certified TGE credit can help you retire under ERS (certified and on file with ERS before December 31, 2005).
Unlike ERS service credit, which is based on months, TRS service credit is based on years. At least 90 working days in one fiscal year counts as one year of TRS service credit. When it transfers to ERS, it’s counted as 12 months. More than likely, you didn’t work at TRS and ERS employers at the same time. But you may have worked for both employers in the same fiscal year. If that’s the case, you can get credit for only one year. Because you can’t have duplicate service, you’d get a refund of contributions for the overlapping service within 90 days from your retirement date.
Example of how ERS/TRS service credit is not duplicate
Cesar worked for a TRS employer from August 15, 2007, to January 1, 2008, and earned one year of TRS service credit (September 2007 to August 2008). Cesar becomes a state employee on May 15, 2008. He starts contributing to his ERS retirement account with his first paycheck.
When Cesar retires, he transfers his TRS time to ERS. The one year of TRS time transfers to ERS as 12 months of service credit (September 2007 to August 2008). Cesar made ERS retirement contributions for May through August 2008. He also has credit from TRS for those same months. He cannot receive double credit for these months, so ERS refunds Cesar the ERS retirement account contributions made in May through August 2008.