Teacher Retirement System of Texas
The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) is a pension trust fund that has been serving the needs of Texas public education employees for more than 70 years. The TRS retirement plan provides service and disability retirement benefits and death benefits. TRS retirement plan benefits are funded by member, state, and employer contributions to the trust fund, and by earnings on the investments of the fund. Currently, the member contribution rate established by the Texas Legislature is 6.4%, and the state contribution rate is 6.4%. This rate will increase from 6.4 percent to 6.7 percent beginning Sept. 1, 2014, 7.2 percent beginning Sept. 1, 2015, and 7.7 percent beginning Sept. 1, 2016. Beginning Sept. 1, 2017, if the state contribution rate is reduced below 6.8 percent, the member contribution rate will be reduced from 7.7 percent by an equivalent percentage.
The TRS plan of retirement benefits is administered as a qualified retirement plan under the provisions of the U.S. Internal revenue Code Section 401(a). The TRS retirement benefit plan is a defined benefit plan. This designation means that the amount of the benefit you are paid is determined under a formula established by law. Once you qualify for retirement under the rules of the plan, you are eligible to receive a particular monthly benefit for life. Your monthly benefit is "defined" by the formula and is not limited by the amount of your member contributions to your retirement account. As a governmental retirement plan, TRS is not an "ERISA" plan under the federal Employees Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
TRS also administers TRS-Care, the health benefit program for eligible retirees, and TRS long-term care insurance, the optional insurance program that provides funds to assist with long-term care to eligible TRS members, retirees, and certain members of their families. More information is available about TRS programs at the TRS web site.
Social Security and Pensions
Northside ISD does not participate in Social Security for regular employees, so there is no Social Security deduction in paychecks. Instead, all regular employees participate in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas(TRS) pension plan.
When calculating anticipated retirement income, it is important to consider all sources. Some Northside employees may have minimal social security benefits or none at all. Some employees may have earned a social security benefit on their own work record outside of NISD. Others may be eligible to receive a spousal benefit on their spouse's work record.
To find out more about how Social Security may affect your TRS retirement or for information on qualifying for Social Security benefits, visit the Social Security Administration's web site.
403(b) tax sheltered annuities
A 403(b) tax sheltered annuity is an IRS defined method of allowing employees of public schools and certain other charitable, educational and religious organizations to accumulate funds for retirement on a tax deferred basis. Annuities may be purchased by any employee at any time during the calendar year. The annuity must be a plan approved by the Texas Teachers’ Retirement System and offered by an approved provider.
Northside ISD has entered into an interlocal agreement with the Region 10 Education Service Center (ESC) to provide 403(b) administrative services through a contract with JEM Resource Partners. JEM does not sell 403(b) annuities; they work with individual brokers to facilitate the transfer of payroll deductions to annuitants' accounts and assist annuitants with questions or account service needs.