Retired teachers to get 13th check
Big Thicket Messenger - November 2007
On Friday, October 19, 2007, Representative John Otto announced retired teachers in Texas will be receiving a “13th check” in January of 2008, meaning our retired teachers in Texas will be receiving two retirement checks.
“This is a great day for our retired teachers in Texas,” said Representative John Otto. “After authorizing an increase in teacher pay of $2,000 a year in 2005, it was time to address the needs of Texas’ retired teachers, who had not seen an annuity increase since 2001. The 13th check was a priority for me this past legislative session. I am happy we got it done.”
Representative Otto added the 13th check will be paid without an increase in the active member contribution role. “This is a very important part of this great news. It means the current teachers are not paying for this increase – the state is.”
Two important variables made the 13th check possible. First, the legislature increased the state contribution rate from 6.0% to 6.58%, and second, TRS investments earned $14 billion (14.4%) in 2007. “It seems the hard work and changes made in the past two legislative sessions to the TRS fund are working out very well for our teachers,” added Otto.
Representative Otto stated the TRS Board of Trustees is scheduled to take action formally at its meeting on November 9th. “This means it is possible the 13th check may be in the hands of our retired teachers as early as mid-January,” said Otto.
“The 13th check will go a long way to help so many retired educators in this state who have not had a pension increase since 2001,” said Timothy Lee, Executive Director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association. “This extra check may help our retirees pay for medical expenses, pay down bills, help curb energy costs, buy gas for their car, or simply hold on to for a rainy day. Retired educators worked so hard to help make this happen, but none of it would have been possible without the help of Representative John Otto and other legislators that worked on this issue all session long to ensure its passage.”