How to Request Time Off to Attend TEXPERS 2021 Summer Educational Forum

The state of Texas doesn't simply encourage professional development for public employee pension trustees and administrators; it mandates it.

Requesting time off from your workplace to improve your service to a pension fund is a sign of commitment to your service or your work. If you are a fund trustee needing time off from your workplace or a fund administrator wanting to attend for professional development, you should look over our event schedule to get an idea of the topics offered. 

Get Informed

Before writing your request letter, do your research.

If you are interested in attending our trustee training program, understand it costs a separate registration fee from the forum. Our high-quality, low-cost training program fulfills state-mandated training for new trustees. We designed our training to ensure that our members are well-prepared to manage their funds and to meet the mandatory educational requirements set forth by the Pension Review Board.

Trustee training is one avenue to assist first-time trustees with increasing their knowledge of state-of-the-art pension fund management techniques. For those purely seeking continuing education, TEXPERS' Summer Educational Forum provides informative keynote presentations during general and breakout sessions conducted by thought leaders in the pensions management and investment industries. Topics generally focus on governance, ethics, fund management, the economy, and investment trends.

Crafting Your Letter

The first paragraph of a letter should state the reason for the letter and describe the training and educational program. It would be best to mention the forum's theme, where it takes place, and the dates. This year's theme is Back to the Future, as the forum will deep dive into how the pension industry is shaping up now that the nation is back open for business during the COVID-19 pandemic. If a program agenda item directly relates to your work or board service, say it and explain how the forum will benefit your role.

You can learn more about the program and find out how to register by clicking here

Although your letter should also explain how the event will help you as a fund's board member or as its employee, the request letter should focus on the benefit to the fund and how it could potentially transfer to your place of employment - not only your personal gain.

The letter should make a direct request to attend. The program will take place from Sunday, Aug. 29, to Tuesday, Aug. 31. That means you could be absent from your job.

Mention that you are available to discuss the forum in detail with your boss at their convenience. And include the online registration cut-off date of the conference, which is Aug. 16. And let your boss know that those who register by Aug. 6 gain access to a special hotel room rate at the venue.

Including the dates lets your employer know that they need to respond within a specific time frame. If you do not receive a response within the required time, you should ask your boss for a personal meeting to request permission to attend the Summer Educational Forum.

It is a good idea to submit the letter several weeks before the cut-off date for registering because your boss may need time to consider the request. And be sure to keep a copy of the letter for yourself.

About the Author
Allen Jones handles the print and communications needs of TEXPERS and assists in developing conference programming and marketing opportunities. He has an extensive history in the communications and journalism industries.
Follow TEXPERS on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well as visit our website for the latest news about Texas' public pension industry.
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