TRS Retirement Counseling
The process of retirement from TRS, after many years of dedicated employment to the district, is potentially a very stressful event if an employee does not have the proper understanding of the paperwork and options that are available. The decisions that are made at the time of retirement are non-reversible and will affect the rest of the employee’s life.
The handbook, supplied by TRS, is a 72-page document on everything from the DROP program to the TRS health care benefits. More specific information about TRS health care benefits can be found in another handbook published by TRS. In most cases, it is a daunting task for employees to read and understand these publications without questions and corresponding answers and because TRS is based in Austin it places added stress on employees to travel there for answers. For instance, the decisions that must be made or considered at the time of retirement include the following:
- Selecting joint and survivor payout
- Members can select from 5 different benefit options. This decision is irreversible.
- Partial lump sum options
- Some members can choose to receive 12, 24, or 36 months of their benefit payments up front.
- Purchasing of service credits
- Withdrawn service and other types of service can be bought in order to enhance retirement benefits.
- Life after retirement
- Many potential employees have the misconception that they can return to work, after retirement, without limitations.
If you are an active employee, it is recommended that you met with a Retirement Specialist to help you with the coordination of processes within Arlington ISD and TRS.
I am ready to retire, what do I do first?
The first step is to call the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and request an Estimate Of Retirement Benefits packet. The toll free number for TRS is 1-800-223-8778. Employees are responsible for requesting their own packet.
I received my TRS packet in the mail, now what?
Once you receive your retirement packet from TRS, please call the benefits department to schedule an appointment with the retirement specialist. It is important to complete the resignation/retirement packet with the district as soon as you are sure of your retirement date.
Can I work after I retire?
Service retirees who retired BEFORE 1/1/2011 no longer have limitations on working in public education after retirement. This means that these retirees will not be subject to forfeiting their monthly TRS annuity payment. Basically, they have replaced January 1, 2001 with January 1, 2011.
Retirees who retired AFTER 1/1/2011 will lose their monthly annuity if:
- Work greater than half-time without a 12 consecutive month break in service.
- Work more than half the number of work days in the calendar month when combining substitute and half-time employment in the same calendar month.
- Work full-time (greater than half-time) without a 12 consecutive month break in service.
NOTE: A TRS member must still have a one month break in service following the date of retirement before beginning employment after retirement.
Disability retirees, regardless of retirement date, continue to be limited to 90 days of work either as a substitute or on a one-half time basis or may substitute and work half-time in the same calendar month for no more than half the number of work days in the calendar month. They also have the opportunity to work full-time for three months. This is a one-time exception. The disability retiree will be returned to active status if they work full-time past the three month exception.
All Full-Time Exceptions are GONE. The Six-month, Acute Shortage Area, Principal/Assistant Principal, Bus Driver, and Nursing Faculty Exceptions no longer exist.
Retirees who retired AFTER 1/1/2011 may work under the following conditions without loss of their TRS monthly annuity:
- Substitute - taking the place of a current employee
- Half-time or less - working 50% or less in each calendar month of what is required of a full-time employee.
- Substitute and half-time in the same calendar month for no more than half the number of work days in the calendar month.
- Full-time (anything more than half time) - with a 12 consecutive month break in service (since the date of retirement) the retiree will not forfeit annuity payments, while working full-time, in any calendar month
NOTE: The 12 consecutive month break in service can be acquired any time after the date of retirement. It does not have to be immediately following their retirement date.
The Pension Surcharge and the TRS-Care surcharges are applicable to any retiree who retired after 9/1/2005 and meets membership eligibility.
How do I change my address, change my name, or beneficiary with TRS?
All changes must be submitted to TRS in writing on the appropriate form. You may visit the TRS website at www.trs.state.tx.us and download the forms to make these changes.
- Form TRS 358 – Address Change
- Form TRS 11 – Designation of Beneficiary
- Letter – To change name, include current and former name, social security number, reason for change, and current mailing address.
The forms, once completed, should be submitted to:
Teacher Retirement System
1000 Red River Street
Austin, Texas 78701
Updating your information with TRS does not update your information with Arlington Independent School District.
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