Trustees Election and Appointments

ERS Trustee Elections and Appointments

Section 815.003(d) of the Texas Government Code states that before August 31 of each odd-numbered year, the Board of Trustees (Board) of the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) is required to hold an election for the members and retirees of the system to nominate and elect a trustee.

Nominations for the 2021 ERS Board of Trustees election are open

Nominations are open to fill one of the three elected seats on the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) Board of Trustees, giving you a voice in the Board’s benefits discussions. As a state employee, you have valuable benefits offered through ERS, and the ERS Board of Trustees works to ensure those benefits remain valuable and competitive. 

This year, you have the opportunity to nominate and elect a candidate to fill the Board seat currently held by Ilesa Daniels, who works for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Her term expires August 31, 2021. The elected candidate will serve a six-year term as your member advocate.

ERS will accept your nominations starting March 1 until Wednesday, March 31 at 5 p.m. CT.

Nominations materials

In addition to the Nomination Petition, each candidate must complete and submit the Questionnaire for Board of Trustees Position. You can access the Nomination Petition, Questionnaire and other nomination materials on this page.

Candidate eligibility

Only active State of Texas agency employees who are contributing to the ERS Retirement Trust Fund can run. In this year’s election, employees of the Texas Department of Transportation and Texas Department of Public Safety are ineligible to run because those agencies already have representation on the Board. State law prohibits two trustees employed by the same agency from serving at the same time. But, employees in those agencies can nominate candidates from other agencies, sign a nomination petition and vote in the election.

Candidate nomination process

  • In addition to the paper petition forms traditionally used in past Board elections, members have the option to electronically nominate a candidate this year. A potential candidate can contact the ERS election coordinator on or after March 1 to request a personalized electronic nomination site platform. This “hybrid” nominations process will provide an additional avenue for candidates to collect signatures and avoid the risk of going “door-to-door” in person to gain support. 
  • To get on the ballot, a member must file a Nomination Petition bearing the signatures of 300 eligible voters. A signature is counted only if the:
    • printed first and last name, ZIP code and date of birth are legibly included;
    • person matches a member of the ERS plan; and
    • signature only appears one time for only one candidate.
  • ERS encourages candidates to gather between 400 and 500 signatures to allow for invalid entries. If a member signs a nomination petition for more than one candidate, ERS will not count either signature.
  • In addition to the Nomination Petition, each candidate must complete and submit the Questionnaire for Board of Trustees Position.

How to cast your e-signature for a candidate

The process to cast an electronic signature for a candidate is very similar to online voting. After members contact the ERS elections coordinator to declare candidacy, ERS will post the list of declared candidates on a dedicated nominations website. You can visit the nominations website to see the list and cast your e-signature for your preferred candidate.

On the nominations website, you will log in by typing in your known credentials: your ZIP code, date of birth and portions of your first and last names. Using the known credentials, the website will automatically authenticate your voting eligibility. Then you can cast your e-signature for your preferred candidate.

ERS will certify candidates and draw for ballot order on Thursday, April 8.

Please note: You will be able to cast your e-signature on the nominations website only after ERS receives candidacy declarations. In the meantime, you will see the following message: “Currently, there are no nominees submitted. Please check back later.” Please log out and visit the site again later.

Who can cast an e-signature for a candidate?

Members who have an ERS account balance as of January 31, 2021 and state agency retirees who get an annuity from ERS are eligible to cast an e-signature for a candidate in the ERS Board of Trustees election.

Why you should participate

Your participation in the Board of Trustees election is important. The Board of Trustees makes key decisions regarding member benefits such as:

  • designing plans for your health care and pharmacy benefits,
  • selecting third-party administrators of health insurance and other benefit programs and 
  • authorizing new programs such as vision insurance. 

The Board also manages the Texa$averSM 401(k) / 457 Program and oversees the ERS Retirement Trust Fund, which invests state, agency and member pension contributions.

Trustee appointments and terms

Board member Ilesa Daniels, whose term is expiring this year, holds one of three seats elected by ERS members and retirees. Three other Board members are appointed, one each by the:

  • Governor,
  • Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and
  • Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

Both appointed and elected Board members serve staggered six-year terms. The terms of appointees expire on August 31 of each even-numbered year. The terms of elected Board members expire on August 31 of each odd-numbered year. 

This year, state employees and retirees will elect one employee member to serve as their member advocate.

Voting options

ERS will mail information on the candidates and paper ballots in May 2021.

Voting will begin on May 7 via the :

  • traditional paper ballot method and
  • preferred electronic method, through a link on the ERS website or through an email link to the voting portal. ERS will send the email on or around May 7. (This option is available to eligible members and retirees with an up-to-date and active email address on file with ERS.) Voting electronically is convenient and secure, and saves money for ERS. It also decreases the chance of errors that could cause a ballot to be invalid.

Remember: Do not submit a paper ballot AND vote electronically. If ERS receives duplicate votes from you, we will only count the first vote received.

The candidate receiving the most votes will be certified as the new trustee-elect.

2021 Trustees Election Calendar

Nomination process
Monday, March 1 Nominating petitions distributed to agencies
Wednesday, March 31 Candidate nominations due to ERS by 5 p.m. CT
Thursday, April 8 Certify candidates and draw for ballot order
Thursday, May 6 Candidate forum
General election
Friday, May 7 Voting begins
Friday, June 11 Voting ends
Thursday, July 15 ERS Executive Director certifies results
Wednesday, September 1 Term for trustee-elect begins