Rep. Jared Patterson Joins Texas House in Passing Pro-Retired Teacher Legislation

April 20, 2019

On April 25, Rep. Jared Patterson joined over 140 of his House colleagues in giving the chamber’s final approval to Senate Bill 12, landmark legislation which restores the Teacher Retirement System of Texas’ pension fund to actuarial soundness. The measure represents the first pension increase for some educators in over a decade, and paves the way for TRS to issue cost-of-living benefit adjustments to retirees in the future.

“As both the son and husband of former Texas teachers, I understand that taking care of those who took care of our children is not negotiable,” said Rep. Patterson. “Senate Bill 12 will ensure that state government keeps the promises it made to those who dedicated their careers to preparing our future, and I’m proud to be a coauthor of the legislation.”

Senate Bill 12, as amended by the House, increases the state contribution rate to the TRS pension starting in 2020. By 2025, the contribution rate will increase to 8.8%. The increase renders the pension fully-funded within a 31-year period, meeting the terms of actuarial soundness. The legislation also provides for up to a $2400, one-time benefit disbursement to current retirees.

State law allows TRS to issue a cost-of-living adjustment only if the pension is considered actuarially sound. Senate Bill 12 thus paves the way to a COLA in future years – a benefit former teachers have not enjoyed since 2013. “With increased financial burdens like rising health care costs and housing expenses, it is critical we make necessary adjustments to protect the quality of life of our retirees,” said Representative Patterson. “I thank Dr. Bonnen for his leadership on one of the most important bills we’ll consider this session.”

SB 12 now heads back to the Senate, where the chamber can either accept the House changes or request a conference committee.
Rep. Patterson’s district encompasses eastern Denton County, including Aubrey, Frisco, Little Elm, Pilot Point, Sanger, Cross Roads, and The Colony.