Membership, Contribution Rates & Benefits

Substitute Teaching
Note: Information on returning to work can be found at this link.

Qualifying for TRS Membership

Non-University employees: TRS membership is mandatory if your position with a TRS employer requires either certification or graduation from a four-year college or university. Additionally, any person providing part-time or substitute teaching services that are the same or similar to those teaching services provided by full-time, certified teachers shall be a member of the retirement system, regardless of whether certification or graduation from a four year college or university is required. Non-university employees do not contribute to Social Security.

University employees: University employees are eligible to participate with TRS if they are employed on a full-time basis and their position requires either certification or graduation from a four-year college or university. University employees contribute to Social Security in addition to TRS.

Defining Employment

Full time is employment in a position that requires services on a continuing basis equal to at least 7/10 of the normal full-time contract for any fiscal year.

Part time is any employment that is less than full time or less than 7/10 employment. As of July 1, 2002, members providing part-time and substitute services for a non-university employer will participate in TRS and receive retirement credit. Part-time and substitute members are subject to the same limitations and conditions regarding the accumulation and use of service credit that apply to full-time employees.

Employee Contribution Rates

All full-time, part-time and substitute members make pretax contributions to TRS.

Employee Contribution Rates
Fiscal Year Non-university University
2013-14 11.355% 7.16%
2014-15 12.105% 7.68%
2015-16 12.855% 8.185%
2016-17 12.855% 8.185%

Multipliers

A multiplier is the value assigned to each year of service a member earns in TRS. That value accumulates over a member’s career. Therefore, the longer a member works, the higher the multiplier and the greater the retirement annuity. Multipliers vary for members based on entry date, years of service and type of employer. Please refer to the chart below:

Multipliers for Non-university
Year of Service* Entry Prior to July 1, 2002 Entry on or after July 1, 2002  Entry on or after July 1, 2008
1 – 10.0 2.5% 2% 1.7%
10.01 – 20.0 2.5% 2.5% 2%
20.01 – 26.0 2.5% 2.5% 2.3%
26.01 – 30.0 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

* Years prior to 1983-84 are at 2 percent.  For each new tier of service credit attained, all prior years convert to the new multiplier, up to 30 years of service. Any years in excess of 30 (and only those years) use a multiplier of 3 percent.

Multipliers for University
Year of Service* Entry Prior to July 1, 2008 Entry on or after July 1, 2008
1 – 10.0 2% 1.5%
10.01 – 20.0 2% 1.7%
20.01 – 26.99 2% 1.85%
27+ 2% 2%

* For each new tier of service credit attained, all prior years convert to the new multiplier. The maximum multiplier used for university members is 2 percent.

Benefits

• Unreduced retirement benefits can be received either at any age with 27 years of service or at age 60 with at least 5 years of service. The more service earned, the greater the retirement benefit. If you retire prior to achieving one of those qualifiers for unreduced benefits, retirement benefits are reduced. The amount of the reduction depends on when you were hired, your total years of service and age.

• Qualified TRS retirees may participate in the Medical Insurance Program. Members with an entry date of July 1, 2008, or later must have 15 years of service to participate in the medical insurance program.

• Survivor benefits are available for the spouse and children of qualified members.**

• A life insurance benefit of $2,000 is available for qualified active members, and a benefit of $5,000 is provided for qualified retired members.**

• Disability benefits are available for qualified members.**

**Members providing part-time and substitute services in their initial retirement account must complete at least 69 percent of a full contract year before they and their survivors are eligible for survivor benefits, life insurance benefits or disability benefits. For example, a substitute teacher in a school district which uses a 187-day contract will have to complete 129 days before these benefits are available. Members providing part-time and substitute services in their secondary retirement account will not be eligible for the survivor, life insurance or disability benefits.

Forfeiture of Membership

Members who are not eligible to retire and who permanently terminate their employment have the option to withdraw their TRS account balance.  A withdrawal of funds cancels TRS membership and voids any future benefit eligibility.