2018 PENSION LAW

What the changes mean

To ensure that TRA is sustainable for future generations of retired educators, changes to the plan are sometimes necessary. The 2018 legislation has a significant positive financial impact, immediately reducing TRA liabilities by $2.0 billion, increasing the funded ratio to 75 percent (from 70 percent), and putting the plan on track to be 92 percent funded in 30 years.

Changes affecting retirees

ANNUAL Cost of living adjustment (COLA)

1/1/2019 – 1/1/2023 = 1.0 percent

1/1/2024 = 1.1 percent

1/1/2025 = 1.2 percent

1/1/2026 = 1.3 percent

1/1/2027 = 1.4 percent

1/1/28 and thereafter = 1.5 percent

COLA Eligibility

Beginning 7/1/2024, eligibility for receipt of first COLA changes to normal retirement age (age 65-66, depending on date of birth). Exempt: members who retire under Rule of 90, and members who retire at least age 62 with at least 30 years of service credit.

COLA Trigger

A trigger that would have increased the COLA if TRA were at least 90 percent funded for two consecutive years was eliminated.

 

Changes affecting active teachers

Contribution rates

Beginning 7/1/2018: 7.5 percent employee, 7.71 percent employer

Beginning 7/1/2019: 7.5 percent employee, 7.92 percent employer

Beginning 7/1/2020: 7.5 percent employee, 8.13 percent employer

Beginning 7/1/2021: 7.5 percent employee, 8.34 percent employer

Beginning 7/1/2022: 7.5 percent employee, 8.55 percent employer

Beginning 7/1/2023 and after: 7.75 percent employee, 8.75 percent employer

The law provides state funding for the higher employer contribution through a pension adjustment in the school aid formula.

Early retirement benefits

Augmentation in the early retirement reduction factors will be phased out over a five-year period beginning 7/1/2019, completed by 6/30/2024. (This reduces early retirement benefits.) Exempt: members who retire at least age 62 with at least 30 years of service.

Deferred benefits

Augmentation on deferred benefits will be reduced to zero percent beginning 7/1/2019.

Interest payable on refunds to members was reduced from 4 percent to 3 percent effective 7/1/2018.

Interest due on payments and purchases from members, employers was reduced from 8.5 percent to 7.5 percent effective 7/1/2018.

Changes affecting TRA finances

Investment return assumption

This key assumption was lowered from 8.5 percent to 7.5 percent. (No effect on benefits.)

Amortization period

The amortization date for the unfunded liability was re-set to 6/30/2048. (No effect on benefits.)

Contribution stabilizer

A mechanism that provided some authority for the TRA board to set contribution rates was eliminated.

All about early retirement

You might be considering retiring early. If you do, your benefit

must be reduced because you will be receiving it for a longer period of time.

“Early retirement” is any age earlier than 66, and the younger you retire

before age 66, the higher the reduction—similar to Social Security.

Learn more about early retirement

Register for a MyTRA account!

Access your personal information, run benefit estimates, make appointments, and more.

If you are an employer contact and do not yet have an employer login, call TRA employer assistance 1-800-657-3853.

Already registered? Click the sign-in button below.

Sign in to MyTRA
Register a new account