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Planning for retirement?

Group workshops are scheduled for 20 cities around Minnesota. Registration is open.

The next webinar is June 21. Registration is open.

New board members announced

The TRA Board of Trustees certified the results of the board election at its April 12, 2017, meeting.

Incumbent active-member representative Mary Supple has won re-election to the TRA Board of Trustees, as has incumbent retiree-member representative Martha Lee Zins. Joining them as a new active-member representative is Will Baumann. Details here.

The investment cycle, explained

Have you ever been stuck with an unflattering school portrait? Still photographs sometimes freeze in time a pretty bad look.

We can relate. This is similar to what happened with pension system investments for fiscal year 2016.

TRA has received inquiries from members wondering how it is that our fiscal 2016 investment returns were so poor at a time when the stock market has been setting records. There is a common misunderstanding about our low return (-0.1 percent) last fiscal year. It is important to point out that that reported return was for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, not the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2016. (More HERE.)

Looking at retirement?




Review the six annuity plans available for retirees:

  • No refund
  • Guaranteed refund
  • 15-years guaranteed
  • Survivorship (100%, 75%, 50%)

Details are here.

Then create an estimate of your benefit for all six plans.

  1. Watch an instruction video here.
  2. Then log into your MyTRA account to access the calculator.


Direct deposit schedule

2017 Direct Deposit Schedule
January 3 July 3
February 1 August 1
March 1 September 1
April 3 October 2
May 1 November 1
June 1 December 1


Board approves modified
financial proposal for '17 session

Due to concerns expressed by retirees, the TRA Board of Trustees on Dec. 14 approved a modified 2017 legislative proposal that would reduce TRA’s cost of living adjustment (COLA) to 1 percent for five years and 1.5 percent thereafter, and raise the employer contribution rate by 2 percent (from 7.5 percent to 9.5 percent), phased in incrementally and offset by state aid. The employee contribution rate would remain at 7.5 percent.

In November, the board passed a 1 percent COLA cut for 10 years, which retirees denounced as too severe. FULL STORY HERE

TRA board to consider revised
funding options

During a special meeting on Mon., Oct. 24, to address funding issues, the Teachers Retirement Association Board of Trustees opted to hold off on any decision regarding the details of retiree cost-of-living reductions and contribution increases until the board’s Nov. 16 meeting. The delay allows time for groups representing retirees, active teachers and school districts to review and weigh in on revised funding options.  

The revised funding options under consideration propose to reduce the retiree COLA to 1 percent for five years and 1.5 percent thereafter. The proposal also includes a 2.5 percent employer contribution rate increase phased in incrementally over several years and offset by earmarking state aid for pensions so as to hold E-12 education funding harmless. Also under consideration is an increase in the active-teacher contribution rate of 0.5 percent, phased in over several years incrementally.

Full story HERE

TRA board OKs sustainability plan

After months of discussion, careful consideration and input from stakeholder groups, the TRA Board of Trustees on Dec. 16 approved recommending to the legislature a sustainability package to put the pension fund on track for full funding and a stronger future for the state’s teacher retirement system.

Using shared sacrifice as its guiding principle, the board settled on a package that increases employer contribution rates by 1 percent (from 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent) and reduces the 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment to 1 percent for five years beginning Jan. 1, 2017, and to 1.75 percent beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

Employee contribution rates remain at 7.5 percent. The COLA change would impact both current and future retirees (today’s active teachers).

The recommendations are subject to review and approval by the state legislature and governor. (More here.)

Additional News

2017 Federal Tax Tables

2017 Minnesota Tax Tables


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