The Teacher Retirement System Board of Trustees met Dec. 12-13, 2013. Among the highlights of the meeting:

  • Staff and trustees continue to be concerned about health insurance trends, and are making active and retiree health insurance the focus of a February 2014 meeting and town hall in Corpus Christi. Health care costs continue to rise, and the structure and funding of TRS-ActiveCare are not able to keep up with these trends.
  • The Board decided not to act on consideration of the ActiveCare plan administrator (currently Blue Cross/Blue Shield) and will discuss whether to make a change at the February meeting.
  • TCTA State President Grace Mueller was appointed to the TRS-Care Retirees Advisory Committee, which will assist TRS trustees and staff in making decisions regarding retiree health insurance.
  • The market value of the TRS pension fund grew to a new high of nearly $120 billion in the fiscal quarter ending Sept. 30, with a 3.7 percent rate of investment returns. The fund increased by $5.1 billion in that three-month period.
  • The TRS actuary reported that the fund continues to be actuarially sound after the changes made during the 2013 legislative session (including increased contributions). In addition to improved funding, lower-than-projected salary increases helped the fund’s fiscal position.
  • Retirement rates continue to be higher than in previous years, although the numbers peaked in 2011 with more than 38,000 retirements (a large increase over 31,000 in 2010). The estimate for 2013 is approximately 36,300.

TCTA will be an active participant in the special three-day February board meeting, and will represent our members’ concerns about health insurance and related issues.