There are three primary sources of funding for TCERA retirement benefits: earnings on investments of assets, employer contributions, and plan member contributions.
All TCERA members are required to pay contributions to the retirement plan. Contributions are made through payroll deductions from the employee’s paycheck.
Employee contribution rates are determined by the employee’s membership type, tier, and age at entry into the retirement system. The younger the employee is when joining the retirement system, the lower the retirement contribution rate will be. The reason for age-based contribution rates is that an employee hired at a young age has many years of employment in which to contribute toward future retirement benefits. In contrast, an older member entering employment will have less years to make contributions before retiring.
There are no provisions in the plan for members to make additional contributions to their separate TCERA retirement accounts. Members are encouraged to pursue other options for increasing retirement savings such as employer-offered deferred compensation plans. Deferred compensation plans are not connected with TCERA in any way, but do provide another method of saving for retirement. Loans from the plan are not allowed under the retirement law that governs TCERA. Access to your contributions and interest is available only upon termination of employment.