AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texans voted to approve Proposition 9 which will add billions to the Texas retired teacher’s pension, according to Associated Press projections.
Proposition 9, stemming from H.J.R 2 from the 88th regular session, would make an “appropriation of $3.45 billion to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)” to provide cost-of-living adjustments to eligible annuitants within TRS.
With 40% of the vote reported, 84% voted in favor of Prop 9.
Joe Ramirez, a former high school teacher of the year from the Austin Independent School District, has been retired for 11 years, and his pension check of $2,000 hasn’t increased since.
“People are basically living from month-to-month. And they need to have a little bit more security to make sure that their futures in their golden years are better off,” Ramirez said.
Over a quarter of the system’s beneficiaries receive less than a thousand dollars each month. Proposition 9 will address this by providing an increase of up to 6% for the nearly half a million annuitants in the Teacher Retirement System (TRS). This constitutional amendment will extend its benefits beyond just teachers, also positively impacting the often lower-paid bus drivers, custodians, and cafeteria staff.
“Having a very, very modest pension means that these folks really can’t afford to wait too much longer,” Executive Director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association Tim Lee said.
The proposal sailed through the legislature with overwhelming support from both the House and Senate.