HBA-GUM H.B. 2886 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2886 By: Bailey Pensions and Investments 3/26/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) uses a benefit multiplier of 2.0, while the Employees Retirement System uses a benefit multiplier of 2.25. School employees contribute 6.4 percent of their gross pay to TRS and the state contributes an amount equal to six percent of the school payroll, the constitutional minimum. A recent study conducted by Texas A&M University ranked the benefit package for Texas teachers last among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Low retirement benefits were cited as a major contributor to the low standing. H.B. 2886 increases the TRS benefit multiplier from 2.0 to 2.25 percent once the legislature appropriates sufficient funds, provides for cost-of-living increases ranging from five to seven percent for those already receiving TRS annuities, and requires TRS to estimate a date when the 2.25 percent multiplier could be made retroactive without additional appropriations. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 824.203, Government Code, by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (f), as follows: (a) Includes Subsection (f) as an exception to the guidelines defining the standard service retirement annuity payable by the Teacher Retirement System (TRS). (f) Increases to 2.25 the percentage used to compute annuities under this section, providing that the board of trustees determines, upon consulting with the actuary for TRS, that the increase does not cause the amortization period to exceed 24 years by one or more years. Provides for an increase under this subsection to take effect at the beginning of any state fiscal year on or after September 1, 1999. SECTION 2. Provides for increased monthly annuity payments to begin with the payment due at the end of September 1999. Excludes payments under Section 824.304(a)(relating to disability retirement benefits), 824.404 (relating to survivor benefits regarding a member's death), or 824.501(relating to survivor benefits regarding a retiree's death), Government Code. Provides that the monthly increase be computed by specifications furnished by this section. SECTION 3. Requires the executive director of TRS to report to the legislature, no later than December 1, 2000, the financial feasibility of recomputing all annuities as though the amendments made by Section 824.203(f) in this Act, applied to the annuities on the date these first became payable. Requires a report under this section, subject to the limitation of the amortization period being less than 26 years by one or more years, to include an estimated date the recomputed annuities would be payable without further appropriation by the 77th Legislature, and the amount of appropriation needed to provide the recomputed annuities on September 1, 2001. SECTION 4. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 5. Emergency clause.