Retired educators may see a pension increase, the first in 20 years

San Antonio – Retired teachers in Texas who receive a pension through the state may get a pension boost, the first in 20 years.

Lydia Carrillo Valdez is one of many retired educators who have been advocating for pay raises and she wants everyone to be familiar with it.

“Everyone needs to speak COLA and understand COLA — Cost of Living Adjustment,” she said.

Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 600 are moving through the legislative process on their way to the governor’s desk. Both seek a pension raise for retired teachers.

When Valdez retired 10 years ago, she thought she would be okay, but the recent inflation has her working two part-time jobs to pay the bills.

“I’ve been retired 10 years. I’ve yet to receive a penny more. However, my bills have gone up. My house mortgage went from $788 a month to now well over $1,200 a month. Same pension,” she said.

Lawmakers are ironing out the details of how much of a raise retired teachers will get and how much extra pay those over the age of 70 may also see.

Public education reporter for the Texas Tribune Brian Lopez said educators were seeking a 10% increase, but they won’t see that.

“This increase isn’t enough either. You know, when you’re talking about a couple of hundred dollars, but, you know, it’s a work in progress. Most people will say that this is the first step to kind of catching these retirees up,” Lopez said.

The bills are bipartisan, but lawmakers are ironing out the details and figure out how much more they want to give educators over the age of 70. Once the legislation is approved by the governor, Texans will still have to vote on how to fund the raises.

Voters will be asked to approve the transfer of funding from the general fund to the Texas Teacher Retirement System.

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