Legislation for the Teacher Retirement System pension advancing at the state capital, which would make the fund financially healthy and give one time checks to retired teachers.
Senate bill 12 will increase how much the state, school districts and current teachers contribute to the pension fund over the next six years and one local teacher union leader says this is good news for educators.
“This is only fair it’s the right thing to do we applaud the state legislature for looking after the current and retired teachers,” said Patrick Hammes, leader of Brownsville Educators Stand Together.
The changes will cost the state more than 550 million dollars the first two years in general revenue. Al most 200 million will go toward giving retirees one-time additional checks of up to $500 next year.
“This is an excellent thing to raise the base teachers have dedicated their entire profession 30 to 40 years to educate the children,” Hammes said.
Teachers pay close to 8 percent of their salaries into the pension fund, while school districts effectively pay 1.5 percent of teacher payroll. That combined funding is last in the country among teacher plans.
Meanwhile, the House is considering a similar piece of legislation, which would increase the state’s contribution and give retirees one-time additional checks of up to $2,400.