Letter to Editor

As a retired educator, I am hopeful, but not at all assured, that retired Texas teachers will get a Cost of Living Adjustment added to their monthly annuity. Retirees have not received a COLA since 2004. Not everyone got that COLA, and it was capped at $100 a month. This a rather meager increase. The average Teacher Retirement System annuity is about $2000 a month. Imagine living on that.

About 95% of retirees do not receive Social Security.

Social Security has given many COLAs since 2004. We are happy for every raise they get. It is deserved and helps them somewhat to keep up with inflation. Inflation has had a very negative impact on retirees' ability to purchase goods and services.

 Almost all state legislators of both parties give lip service in support of a COLA, but when it comes to making a significant increase in our annuity there is a tendency by those in leadership and power to ignore our needs or only make minor changes to our annuity. The usual excuse is a lack of state funds or the TRS fund is not actuarially sound. But for this legislative session, not only is our fund sound, but the state is flush with money.

It is past time for the legislature and its leadership to step up and give Texas retired teachers the significant COLA that they deserve.

Richard Briggs

Beaumont, Texas

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