The Texas Legislature meets in regular session in January of each odd-numbered year. View the list of summarized bills below that affect the programs administered by the ERS. 

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The following is a list of some of the bills that passed and affect the programs administered by the ERS. For more information on legislation, please visit the Texas Legislature Online website.

Change to insurance state contribution for retirees

Effective September 1, 2014

The insurance state contribution for retirees changes based on years of service for GBP members with less than five years of GBP participation on 8/31/2014. This change rewards long-term employees by providing them with a higher contribution toward health insurance premiums in retirement. As a full-time employee, if you have at least:

  • 10 years of service, you receive a 50% employee and 25% dependent contribution.
  • 15 years of service, you receive a 75% employee and 37.5% dependent contribution.
  • 20 years or more of service, you receive a 100% employee and 50% dependent contribution.

If you have less than 10 years of service, you are not eligible for insurance at retirement. You must have 10 years of GBP participation to be eligible for insurance at retirement.

Tobacco certification required

Effective September 1, 2013

For all GBP members and dependents.

You must certify tobacco use or non-use. Starting September 1, 2013, you will be charged an extra $30 for each person age 18 and over who is enrolled in your GBP health plan (up to a maximum of $90 per month), unless you certify them as a non-tobacco user.

Change to definition of a “full-time” employee

Effective September 1, 2013

The definition of a full-time employee for benefit purposes is changing. As of 9/1/2013, a full-time employee is an individual designated by his or her employer as working 30 hours or more per week. If you work 30 hours or more per week in a benefits-eligible position, you will receive the full state contribution for your health insurance premium.

Health coverage waiting period decreases

Effective September 1, 2014

As a new employee hired on or after September 1, 2014, your health coverage begin date is the first of the month following your 60th day of employment, not to exceed 90 days.

Retirement annuity benefits

Effective September 1, 2013

As of September 1, 2013, new employees without an existing ERS retirement account from previous state employment will have different retirement eligibility rules. You will still be required to meet the Rule of 80 (service credit and age must equal 80) to be eligible to retire, but you will need to be a certain age to receive full retirement benefits. Retirement age for members of the regular service retirement is 62. Retirement age for members of the Law Enforcement and Custodial Officers Supplemental Retirement Fund (LECOSRF) is 57. If you meet the rule of 80 prior to the retirement age, you will see a 5% reduction in your annuity amount for each year you retire prior to your retirement age. In addition, you cannot use of any of your leave to count toward retirement eligibility. Other changes are regarding the amount of the annuity:

  • Your highest 60 months of salary are used to calculate your annuity.
  • You can use your unpaid sick leave to help increase your annuity.
  • You will have a choice to receive a lump sum payment of your unused vacation leave or request that it count towards your annuity calculation. If you choose to receive a lump sum payment of your unused vacation leave, you cannot use it to help increase your annuity. Vacation accrual that is not paid in lump sum will count towards your annuity amount.

Interest earned on non-refunded service decreases

Effective January 1, 2014

You will earn 5% interest on your account through 12/31/2013. Beginning 1/1/2014 and going forward, you will earn 2% interest.

Employer retirement contribution increases

Effective September 1, 2013

The State continues its 6.5% contribution to the ERS retirement fund from ERS retirement appropriations, and adds an additional 0.5% from agency appropriations. An additional 1% from unexpended 2013 ERS appropriations may be added to the FY 2014 ERS retirement appropriation for a total state contribution of 8%.

Effective September 1, 2014

The State increases its contribution to the ERS retirement fund by 1% to 7.5% from ERS retirement appropriations, and an additional 0.5% from agency appropriations for a total state contribution of 8%.

Employee retirement contribution increases

Effective September 1, 2013

Your retirement contribution will increase by 0.1% to 6.6%.

Effective September 1, 2014

Your retirement contribution will increase by 0.3% to 6.9%.