Mandatory Retirement Plan Contributions
The state of Texas provides a number of retirement plans: the Employees Retirement System (ERS), Teacher Retirement System (TRS), Optional Retirement Program (ORP) and the Judicial Retirement System of Texas.
The following table outlines who may participate in each system and the percentage of monthly compensation deducted:
|Retirement System||Eligible Participants||Percent of Monthly Compensation|
|Employees Retirement System (ERS)||Elected officials and state employees||
|Teacher Retirement System (TRS)||Public education employees||
|Optional Retirement Program (ORP)||Faculty members of institutions of higher education||
|Judicial Retirement System of Texas JRS-1||Judges, justices or commissioners of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, a court of appeals or a district court elected prior to Sept. 01, 1985, and never eligible for JRS-2.||
|Judicial Retirement System of Texas JRS-2||Judges, justices or commissioners of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, a court of appeals or a district court elected after Aug. 31, 1985, and never eligible for JRS-1.||
Membership is typically a condition of employment and mandatory for most employees. Membership continues until an employee retires, dies or withdraws his or her account balance after leaving state employment. An employee continues to be a member as long as he or she has an account with a system, regardless of whether he or she continues employment with the state. The participant contributions must be made through payroll deduction and are invested by the plan.
New hire waiting period
Newly hired state employees served by ERS must complete a 90-day waiting period to qualify for retirement participation.
Firefighters save for retirement under the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System.
Agencies that hire a person who retires under ERS rules on or after Sept. 1, 2009, will pay a surcharge of 7.50 percent of what would be retirement-eligible wages to ERS for each month the return-to-work retiree is employed by their agency. There are no appropriations for this surcharge. A state agency cannot hire a person who retired under ERS rules until at least 90 days after the retirement date.
It is our understanding that the ERS retirement annuity will not be affected for employees returning to state employment after they retire.
ERS retirees who return to work at an agency subject to ERS will no longer contribute a portion of their monthly pay to an ERS retirement account. Therefore, they are not eligible to receive a second retirement from the ERS.
Effective Sept. 1, 2009, an additional 0.5 percent is deducted for employees covered under ERS whose positions are included in the Law Enforcement and Custodial Officers Supplemental (LECOS) retirement.
- Faculty member
- Has the definition assigned in Texas Education Code, Section 61.003.
- Institution of higher education
- Includes the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas State Technical College and the institutions included in the definition of “institution of higher education” in Texas Education Code, Section 61.003.
Texas Government Code, Sections 812.003(a) – (b), 815.402(a)(1), 821.001(8), 821.001(12), 822.001, 822.002(a), 825.402(5), 825.403(a), 830.002(b), 830.003, 830.101(a), 830.102(a), 830.201(a), 830.202, 830.202(a), 832.001(a – c), 835.101(a), 835.103, 837.001(a – c), 840.102(a), (b)(1), (g), 840.105(a – b) (Vernon 2012); 34 Texas Administrative Code, Sections 25.25(a), 25.171, 25.172(e), 69.1(2) (1999).
|Revision Date||Revision Description|
|09/01/2014||Updated employee contribution rates|
|09/30/2013||Updated through the acts of the 83rd Legislature, Regular Session|
|09/01/2012||Updated rate of return-to work retiree surcharge|