Peace Officer Retirement for Officers in Teachers Retirement System




Cariker, Heath

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Peace officers in Texas’ Teachers Retirement System (TRS) are not afforded early retirement age and a higher than standard annuity multiplier as are peace officers in Texas’ Employee Retirement System (ERS) (2015). This means a TRS officer will work much longer and draw less in retirement income than ERS officers. Longer time in service and advanced age causes TRS officers’ health to be adversely affected, and their policing abilities decline to a greater degree (Pascarella, 2006). ERS and TRS are both state funded. This causes a disparity in benefits between the two state funded retirement systems. These disparities place TRS officers in a second class status below their cohorts even though they perform the same duties. The issues of retirement age and annuity value hamper recruitment and retention in TRS police agencies. The Texas legislature must transition TRS officers to the existing peace officer retirement fund in ERS. TRS officers would then be allowed the same benefits as their ERS cohorts. This would positively affect the retirement income of TRS officers, and TRS agencies could retain productive and healthy officers. Critics claim the expense in transitioning TRS officers to the existing ERS fund would be too great. These costs would not come from state taxes, but from the TRS peace officer themselves. This additional percentage of the officer’s pre-tax salary would go toward supporting the fund. This would eliminate the need for a state tax increase, and it would still allow TRS officers a retirement system at parity with ERS officers.


Police -- retirement, Retirement benefits