The TRS Board of Trustees held a two-day meeting Sept. 12-13, 2013. The Board is currently short two members, as the terms of Charlotte Clifton (active employee representative, and former TCTA state president) and Eric McDonald ended Aug. 31 and Gov. Rick Perry has not yet appointed their replacements. Another former TCTA state president, Dolores Ramirez of San Benito, was the top vote-getter in the spring 2013 TRS Board election to fill Clifton’s spot; Perry must choose from among the top three candidates. 

TRS staff informed the board that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for certain retirees, approved by the Legislature in the recent session, will be paid out beginning with the first benefit check of the fiscal year – the check mailed in October. The COLA is a 3 percent increase in benefits, limited to no more than $100 per month, and applies only to those who retired prior to Sept. 1, 2004.

The board received a report on the financial status of the pension fund as of June 2013, the end of the second fiscal quarter. Though down slightly from the April report, investment experts reported that the fund had outperformed its benchmarks. The date of most interest to TRS members is Aug. 31, when the “snapshot” is taken upon which the 2013-14 actuarial valuation will be based. The results of that valuation will be released later this fall and presented in detail at the December TRS meeting.

Trustees were also briefed on financial concerns about TRS-ActiveCare, the health insurance program for active employees.