Benefits administered by ERS are good for Texas employees – and good for Texas.
The insurance and retirement programs offered through ERS are an investment in Texas, paid for by both members and the state. A lot of work goes into making Texas a great place to live, work and visit. ERS programs help recruit and retain a talented workforce that provides the services Texans and visitors use every day. People across Texas rely on the people who rely on ERS – from public safety officers to civil engineers, meat inspectors to day care evaluators, college professors to prosecutors, park rangers to prison guards.
Currently, benefits -- including the state’s contributions toward health insurance and retirement, paid time off and longevity pay account for about one-third of the total compensation package for the average state employee. Employees say that benefits are a major draw to State of Texas employment. Without health and retirement benefits, Texas would have trouble competing for skilled employees with other government employers (federal agencies, other states, counties and municipalities) and the private sector.
Beyond employee recruitment and retention, ERS-administered benefits help Texans and the Texas economy.
- The Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) provides cost-effective health coverage to about one of every 52 Texans — a huge contribution toward maintaining a healthy, productive population.
- The GBP pays about $3.3 billion per year in health care benefits, $2.9 billion of which is paid to Texas doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other in-state health care providers. These payments are funded not just by the state, but also by employee and retiree plan members.
- As currently funded, the GBP helps keep participants out of social services programs and bankruptcy. .
- About 96% of state retirees continue to live – and spend – in Texas, providing economic support to their communities and the state.
- Retirement benefits help retirees remain independent and prevent reliance on social services.
- Approximately 30% of the ERS Retirement Trust Fund’s equity investments are in Texas-based businesses or companies with at least 200 employees in the state.
ERS works to ensure that these valuable and beneficial programs are delivered at the lowest costs possible, while still providing quality service and care.
- HealthSelect of Texas, the GBP’s primary healthcare plan, spends only three cents of every dollar on administration, with 97 cents going directly to health care providers. By comparison, administration costs for large private health plans nationwide can be as high as 10.5 cents per dollar.
- Employees and retirees share health plan costs through dependent premium payments, copayments, prescription drug deductibles and coinsurance.
- State contributions to the ERS retirement trust fund are less than 1% of the Texas budget.
- About two-thirds of retirees’ annuities are paid from investment returns on the Trust Fund, offering the state and members a great return on their contributions.