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TRS Vesting and Retirement Guidelines

HROG Section:
Resigning/Retiring From Employment
Document Title:
TRS Vesting and Retirement Guidelines
Initial Date Posted:
Board Approval:
Applies To:
TRS employees considering retirement
Source:
Related TASB Policy:
Last Date Revised:
Vesting refers to the rights of an employee to service retirement benefits upon reaching the retirement age established by Teachers Retirement System (TRS).  These rights exist even if the vested member ends employment.  The amount of time required to vest under TRS is currently five years of creditable service. 

A year of service credit is established when an employee works for a definite period of four and one half months or a full semester or more than four calendar months.  Only one year of service credit may be established during each school year, which runs from September through August.

Purpose

Background

Definitions

Eligibility

TRS provides regular service retirement benefits.  A member is eligible to retire and receive a standard service retirement annuity if the member:  

  • Is at least 65 years of age and has at least 5 years of service credit, and
  • Any combination of age and service totaling 80, with at least 5 years of service (EX: Age 52 + 28 years of service = 80) 
A member is eligible for a reduced retirement annuity benefit if the member:  

  • Between age 55 and 64 with between 5 and 19 years of service,
  • Between age 55 and 59 with between 20 and 24 years of service, or
  • Age 49 or less with 30 or more years of service.  
As of September 1, 2005, the retirement annuity formula is:  

2.3% x five year average salary x years of credit service / 12 = monthly standard annuity  

If grandfathered under the old rules prior to August 31, 2005, the retirement annuity formula is:  

2.3% x three  year average salary x years of credit service / 12 = monthly standard annuity
  
Who is grandfathered?  

Members are eligible to have their standard annuity calculated using the average of their highest three annual salaries. To be eligible, the member must have met at least one of the following requirements on or before August 31, 2005:  

  • Attained age 50,
  • Had at least 25 years of service credit, or
  • Age and years of service credit totaled at least 70 (“Rule of 70”)  
Service Retirement Eligibility provisions for new members effective September 1, 2007

Persons who first become TRS members on or after September 1, 2007, or who return to membership on or after September 1, 2007, after having previously terminating their TRS membership and withdrawing their TRS accounts, will be subject to new service retirement eligibility provisions. Those who establish TRS membership on or after September 1, 2007, and who meet the Rule of 80 (age + years of service credit = 80), also will need to be at least age 60 at the time of retirement to qualify for an unreduced annuity. A member who is affected by the new provisions who retires before the age of 60 will have a 5 percent annuity reduction for each year under age of 60. Members prior to September 1, 2007, should not be affected if they maintain their membership status by not withdrawing their TRS contributions upon termination.  

Disclaimer: The Teachers Retirement System of Texas (TRS) is the entity responsible for determining retirement eligibility requirements/criteria.

Procedures

Employee Responsibility

Contact TRS directly to attain specific and individual service credit information to ensure all
TRS rules and requirements are met before a decision for retirement is made.

HR Responsibility

Exceptions To Policy

Other Notes

Related Links