Lt. Gov. Patrick: Statement on Retired Teachers’ Security Act with a 13th Check

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SB 12 will create an actuarially sound pension system and do the right thing for our retired teachers.

AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement today announcing his support for Senate Bill 12, the Retired Teachers’ Security Act with a 13th Check authored by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, and Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound. Senate Bill 12 will be filed later today.

“Aside from a parent, no one has more impact on the success of a child than a teacher and no one has had more impact on the success of Texas, in building the intellectual capital and ingenuity for the future progress of our state, than our retired teachers. That’s why, in addition to SB 3, I have made the Retired Teachers’ Security Act with a 13th Check, SB12, a top priority.

“Senate Bill 12 takes a principled conservative approach to pension reforms and brings actuarial soundness to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS). It ensures that Texas will not be mired in the mounting pension debt that we see in too many other states.

“Senate Bill 12 is also essential to make sure we attract and retain the best and brightest teachers in our public schools by providing a secure retirement for the long term. I have promised our retired teachers that my goal is to keep TRS solvent forever and this legislation provides the pathway to that goal. It also provides immediate help for our retired teachers. Just as SB 3 provides an across-the-board pay raise to teachers next year, SB 12, will provide a 13th Check in 2020. Senate Bill 3, Senate Bill 12 and Senate Bill 4, the School Finance Bill, are all components of the Senate’s school finance reform strategy.”

TRS is the 13th largest pension system in the world. It provides benefits to over 420,000 people. Under Lt. Gov. Patrick’s leadership, the state has added over a billion dollars to TRS including $200 million in the 2017 Special Session. In September, Lt. Gov. Patrick took the lead in asking the TRS Board not to raise health care premiums, so that retired teachers would not have to bear that additional burden.

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