TEXPERS' Communications Director is Thankful for the Dedication of Texas' Public Employees

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I want to thank the Texas state and local government employees who have dedicated their careers to serving their communities. These public servants have positively impacted the lives of millions of Texans, from teachers and firefighters to police officers and metro workers. They deserve our respect and appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice.

One of the ways we can show our appreciation is by ensuring that these public employees have a secure and dignified retirement after they leave their jobs. That's why I support retirement benefits, which provide a guaranteed monthly income to retirees based on their years of service and salary. Defined benefits and some hybrid plans are fair and efficient and a form of recognition for the valuable contributions that public employees have made to our society.

Defined benefit plans are also good for our economy, as they generate billions of dollars in economic activity and support thousands of jobs in Texas. According to a recent study by the National Institute on Retirement Security, in 2020, defined benefit pension expenditures in Texas supported 165,433 jobs, $9.1 billion in labor income, $1.8 billion in state and local tax revenue, and $1.3 billion in federal tax.

However, defined benefit plans are under constant attack from those who want to replace them with risky and inadequate alternatives, such as 401(k)-like plans or cash balance plans. These plans shift the investment risk and cost from the employer to the employee, often resulting in lower retirement income and higher poverty rates among retirees.

That's why I'm proud to be a member of the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems (TEXPERS). This nonprofit professional membership organization provides state-mandated training to trustees and administrators of public employee pension systems throughout Texas and advocates for preserving and enhancing secure retirement plans for state and local government employees. TEXPERS represents 84 public pension systems across the state, serving more than 500,000 active and retired members.

The Association provides its members with education, research, legislative support, and a platform for networking and collaboration among public pension professionals and stakeholders. TEXPERS also promotes best practices and high standards of fiduciary responsibility among its members to ensure that public pension funds are well-managed and sustainable.

This Thanksgiving, I want to thank the Association Board of Directors, President Sherry Mose, Executive Director Art Alfaro, its staff, and membership for their service to Texas's public pension community. I also want to thank all the public employees who have served or are serving our state and local governments and their families who support them. You are the backbone of our society, and you deserve our gratitude and respect.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

About the Author:
Allen Jones is the director of communications and event marketing at TEXPERS. A former journalist, he joined the Association in January 2017.


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