TPEA will continue its focus on preserving and enhancing affordable retirement health benefits for state employees and retirees, and supporting fair and equitable state employee compensation.
STATE EMPLOYEE SALARIES
Since the 2010-2011 biennium, the Texas legislature has given targeted pay raises - raises that affect a small, defined subset of state employees - to improve retention in certain high-turnover positions and to maintain a competitive salary relationship between state agency positions and similar positions in a relevant labor market. As state revenues allow, TPEA will work with the Legislature to reduce state agency turnover and support salary increases for all state employees.
There may not be a benefit more important to employee retention and retiree personal solvency than the ERS health plan. The ERS health plans have proven adequate to meet the medical needs of employees, retirees, and their dependents. TPEA will support ERS’ appropriation request to fund the ERS health plans.
RETIREE BENEFIT ENHANCEMENTS
At the beginning of the 87th Legislative Session, the ERS pension plan faced an estimated depletion by 2061 due to a growing unfunded liability. With the passage of SB 321 and the legacy payment commitment to pay off the unfunded liabilities of the ERS pension plan SB 321 safeguards state employee retirement benefits and improve the state’s financial standing related to pension obligations. With a combination of strong investment performance from fiscal year 2021 (25% gross investment return) and SB 321, the ERS retirement plan fundamentally shifts from an expected depletion date to an actuarially sound future within a few years and 100% funded within 33 years, TPEA will advocate for a retiree benefit enhancement, such as a 13th check or a COLA.