Restoring Local Control of State-Governed Pension Plans

Over the years, approximately 13 separate local retirement systems have petitioned the Legislature to codify certain aspects of their pension plans into state statute, including provisions related to “contribution rates, benefit levels and the composition of their board of trustees” (Texas Pension Review Board, 89). By establishing these provisions in state law, these select systems have effectively created a political barrier to local oversight and control. Absent approval by the Texas Legislature, many features of these state-governed systems cannot be changed, modified, or altered locally. This applies even in instances where the sustainability and reliability of these pension plans has been called into question.

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