84R2449 BK-D
  By: Keffer H.R. No. 281
         WHEREAS, Established through an amendment to the Texas
  Constitution in 1936, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas
  provides for the well-being of retired employees of public
  education institutions in the state; and
         WHEREAS, TRS delivers lifetime retirement benefits to
  retired school personnel in the form of a defined benefit plan;
  through this plan, a participant's monthly pension is calculated
  based on the person's age at retirement, years of service, and
  highest average salary, rather than the balance in the individual's
  account; funds are managed by investment professionals to protect
  against market fluctuations; and
         WHEREAS, An alternative that has been offered--a defined
  contribution plan--would require TRS participants to make payments
  into a retirement account, with possible contributions from their
  school districts, and to take responsibility for investment
  decisions while assuming the risks that investing entails; this
  places an added burden on participants that can lead to greater
  uncertainty, as their pension funds are vulnerable to unfavorable
  market conditions; moreover, instituting a defined contribution
  plan would eliminate the protection that TRS currently grants,
  since benefits would cease if a retiree's account balance were
  depleted; and
         WHEREAS, The proposed defined contribution model does not
  allow for any beneficiary coverage and might not allow any
  insurance plans; of the 330,000 retirement recipients served by
  TRS, only a small percentage worked in a school system that paid
  into social security at any time in their careers, and the choice of
  school districts to forgo social security benefits was made with
  the expectation that the state would safeguard employees'
  retirement assets; and
         WHEREAS, Most retired teachers did not earn large sums of
  money during their working careers, but rather worked for the love
  of teaching; for a great majority of these men and women, the
  monthly annuity from TRS is the only source of funds; were these
  retirees to outlive their benefits under a defined contribution
  plan, they would be left with no means of replacing the lost income;
         WHEREAS, Recognizing the significance of this issue to the
  interests of older Texans, the 15th Texas Silver Haired Legislature
  has adopted a resolution endorsing the continuation of the TRS
  defined benefit plan; and
         WHEREAS, Teachers play a proud and vital role in nurturing
  the leaders of tomorrow, and after many years of service, they
  deserve all the security and peace of mind that the State of Texas
  can offer them; the defined benefit plan administered by the
  Teacher Retirement System remains the most reasonable option to
  provide this assurance to the educators of Texas, and it is
  imperative that it receive the state's full support; now,
  therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 84th Texas
  Legislature hereby affirm its support for the defined benefit plan
  for retired participants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas;
  and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That the chief clerk of the house forward official
  copies of this resolution to the executive director and the board of
  trustees of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.