Executive Director's Corner

December 07, 2018

Every two years, ERS submits its Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) to ask for state funding for retirement
and health insurance, our two primary fiscal responsibilities. 

Throughout the legislative session, which begins January 8, 2019, we at ERS will provide information to legislators about the importance of retirement and health insurance benefits to state retirees and active employees.

We want the ERS Retirement Trust Fund to return to an actuarially sound status again, as it has been in the not-so-distant past.

There are three main reasons for working toward actuarial soundness:
  1. Restoring the Trust Fund to actuarial soundness will help the state keep its promise to current and future retirees. 
  2. A healthier Retirement Trust Fund will help Texas maintain its strong credit rating, which is critical to state budgeting and operations.
  3. State law prevents any benefit increases unless the fund is sound. 
During the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers increased state and member contributions to the Retirement Trust Fund. This put the Fund on the path to becoming actuarially sound, but we're not there yet. 

There is good news for your pocketbook on the health insurance front. I am proud to report that ERS does not need to request an increase in funding for health insurance premiums. As a result of sound cost management, we expect to maintain current coverage levels without increasing funding from the state or health plan members.
That means very slight or no increases in premiums for retirees who cover dependents, based on which plan
they're in.

These days, very few health plans can report this kind of good news.

Of course, the state has many funding priorities and must work to balance all the needs. Our focus is on the benefit programs that are entrusted to ERS. We believe it is in the state's interest to support you who have
worked so hard on behalf of your fellow Texans.

In the coming months, we will keep you informed about our efforts. Check regularly on the ERS website and our
Facebook page for updates.

Stay in touch, and stay informed!


Porter Wilson