Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fwd: Call today to Protect Our Pension Plans

Subject: Call today to Protect Our Pension Plans



House Bill (HB) 2506, by Rep. Warren Chisum, converts our ERS pension plan to a mandatory defined contribution ("DC") plan for all state employees who are hired after August 31, 2012.  Defined contribution plans are similar to 401-k plans: they eliminate any guaranteed pension and force each employee to depend on the stock market and their own investing decisions for their retirement.

Nationally, the shift from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans has left millions of Americans facing insecurity and even poverty in their retirement years. At best, the plans produce fewer benefits at higher cost according to several studies. Only two states currently have DC pension plans for state employees. Two other states, Nebraska and West Virginia, have dropped DC plans and gone back to traditional pension plans.

This bill will have a hearing on Tuesday, April 26, in the House Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services committee.

What to do:
Call your legislator and/or members of the Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services Committee as soon as you can.

If your legislator is not on the committee, ask him/her to contact the members of the committee to OPPOSE HB 2506.

Here some talking points if you talk to a member of the committee or their staff:
* I am a member of the State employees Union and a constituent in your district.
* I want you to oppose and vote against HB 2506, the state employee defined contribution pension bill.
* This bill will be a disaster for state employees and will make it harder for the state to attract and retain qualified employees.
* Only two other states have defined contribution pension plans, and two states abandoned the idea as a failure.

The members of the committee are:
Rep. Vicki Truitt, R - Southlake (Tarrant County), Chair:  512-463-0690
Rep. Rafael  Anchia, D - Dallas, Vice Chair: 512-463-0746
Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson, R - Waco: 512-463-0135
Rep. Brandon Creighton, R- Conroe: 512-463-0726
Rep. Ana Hernandez Luna, D - Houston: 512-463-0614
Rep. Ken Legler, R - Pasadena: 512-463-0460
Rep. Barbara Nash, R - Arlington:512-463-0562
Rep. Rob Orr, R - Burleson: 512-463-0558
Rep. Marc Veasey, D - Fort Worth: 512-463-0716.
To find out who your legislators are, go to Who Represents Me:

Please send an email to Derrick Osobase, TSEU Legislative Director ( after you call and let us know who you called and what the response was.

Information & resources:
TSEU web site: Information sheet on defined benefit/ defined contribution plans: go to our home page,, browse to "Health Care & Pensions"

CWA Public, Health Care, and Education Workers web site: pension resources

CWA Public, Health Care, and Education Workers web site : Benefit Crisis in the Public Sector

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For information about contacting your state legislators, go to

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