Who will be our next trustee?

March 13, 2023
five people standing in lobby holding question marks in front of faces

At the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS), we know you value your benefits—and so does the ERS Board of Trustees. One way to ensure you are represented in benefits discussions is to participate in this year’s ERS Board of Trustees election. ERS has always encouraged retirees to vote in the trustee elections. Now, for the first time, retirees can run to fill a Board seat. On March 1, ERS began accepting nominations to fill the Board seat currently held by Catherine Melvin (of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Her term expires Aug. 31, 2023).

Why you should consider a run and make sure to vote.

The ERS Board of Trustees plays an important role in managing valuable benefits for State of Texas employees and retirees. The Board oversees the ERS Retirement Trust Fund, which invests state, agency and member pension contributions. The Board also has oversight of the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) and other benefits, such as the Texa$averSM 401(k) / 457 Program.

Who can run?

State of Texas agency employees who are contributing to the ERS Retirement Trust Fund and state agency retirees who are getting an annuity from ERS can run to serve on the ERS Board of Trustees. This is the first year retirees can run for an ERS Board seat, following legislation passed in 2021. Please note: Employees of the Texas Department of Transportation and Health and Human Services Commission cannot run in this year’s election because they already have representation on the Board.

Nomination process

Each candidate must complete and submit to ERS the Nomination Petition and the Questionnaire for Board of Trustees Position.

  • Potential candidates must submit a Nomination Petition with the signatures of at least 300 ERS members and/ or retirees qualified to vote in the trustee election. ERS encourages potential candidates to gather 400 to 500 signatures to allow for invalid entries. If a person signs a nomination petition for more than one candidate, ERS will not count the person’s signature for either candidate.
  • Potential candidates also have the option to gather voters’ electronic signature (e-signature) on the ERS Board nominations website, rather than or in addition to going “door-to-door” in person to gain support. Potential candidates can contact the ERS election coordinator at ERSelection@ers.texas.gov to request a personalized electronic nomination site platform.

The process to provide an electronic signature for a nominee is very similar to online voting. On the ERS Board nominations website, the nominator will log in by typing in their individual credentials: their ZIP code, date of birth and portions of their first and last names. Using the information they enter, the website will automatically authenticate voter eligibility. The questionnaire and other nomination materials are available on the ERS website. Signed nomination petitions and questionnaires are due to ERS March 31 by 5 p.m. CT. ERS will certify the candidates on April 13.

Who can vote?

ERS retirees and members can vote in the Board election if they are retired state employees who get an annuity from ERS or have an ERS retirement account balance as of Jan. 31, 2023. If you’re eligible to vote, you’ll get an election newsletter in the mail in early May. The newsletter will include information about the candidates and detailed instructions about how to vote.

You can vote May 12 – June 16 via either:

Important dates in the 2023 Board trustee election:

  • March 31: The nominations period closes.
  • April 13: ERS certifies candidates and draws for ballot order.
  • May 11: ERS conducts the candidate forum.
  • May 12: Voting begins.
  • June 16: Voting ends.
  • July 20: ERS certifies the election results.
  • September 1: The new trustee begins their term.

Visit the ERS Trustees Election and Appointments webpage. You can find it in the About ERS tab, then click on ERS Board of Trustees.