TCTA testified before the TRS Board of Trustees Nov. 20, 2014, on a paycheck-timing issue that is preventing some teachers from receiving their full TRS benefits.

The issue stems from a legislative change that caused TRS to move to a standardized school year for administrative purposes, making the salary that is counted when calculating a teacher's TRS annuity equal to the amount the teacher is paid between Sept. 1 and Aug. 31 of any given year.

However, some school districts issue the first paycheck of the school year in late August. So for a teacher retiring in a given year, only 11 paychecks are counted by TRS for the final year's salary — the checks received in September through July. The teacher would not receive an August paycheck in the last year of teaching because the August check is the first check for the following school year.

So for the teachers in those districts, what is most likely their highest salary isn't actually being counted toward their retirement. With only 11 months of pay being calculated, the salary for their final year of teaching is not going to be one of their top three or five highest years of salary.

The TRS Board has been receptive to TCTA's concerns on the matter, and we will continue to work with TRS staff on a solution. The issue will go back before the board in February 2015. However, the situation might require a legislative fix.