TRS moving to temporary remote operations
To help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and based on the latest recommendations from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), TRS is moving to remote operations from March 16 through March 30. This means that our offices will be closed to the public, and we will not be offering in-person scheduled or walk-in counseling appointments. Members with previously scheduled counseling appointments can change their appointment to a remote counseling session by calling 1-800-223-8778. If you are unable to meet with a benefit counselor by phone or through video conferencing our counselors will work with you to reschedule your appointment.
During this time, our staff will continue to work diligently to ensure that annuity checks are issued on time and benefits and health care forms are processed. All other functions of the organization, including investment management, will continue during the remote operation.
We encourage our members to stay up to date on the latest news about the virus and necessary safety precautions by visiting the DSHS website. The TRS Board and executive leadership will continually assess the situation before determining when to reopen the agency to the public. We will actively update our website and social media feeds as the situation evolves.
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 retirementMany potential employees have the misconception that they can return to work, after retirement, without limitations.If you are an active employee, you must work with our Retirement Storefront for the proper coordination of processes within HISD.You must sign the proper paperwork with the Storefront in order to be retired from HISD. This would include a request to be paid for any leave time you are eligible for, which is only payable upon RETIREMENT (not resignation).Retirement does not happen automatically if you have worked only with TRS in this process.