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Texas County & District celebrates 50 years

Texas County & District Retirement System, Austin, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017 by turning the spotlight on the 270,000 active and retired Texas public-sector workers and 700 district employers across the state that it serves.

Legislation creating the now $25.6 billion pension fund was signed May 5, 1967. Other public-sector workers were already covered by public pension funds, but employees of Texas counties and various districts providing water, police, fire and other services did not have a retirement plan.

A celebratory anniversary section on TCDRS' website is something of “a love story to our members,” said Kathy Thrift, director of communications, sending the message to participants that “You Inspire Us.”

“We don't want this to be all about us. We are really proud of our members, of all the things they do as active employees and retired system members,” Ms. Thrift said.

TCDRS highlights individual members of the system in written and video profiles on the anniversary website, including one about Janis Bading, a retired Travis County Sheriff's Office sergeant competing with her horse in a barrel race. TCDRS' Facebook and Pinterest pages invite participants to share their stories about how saving through the system has enriched their retirement.

The finale of the anniversary celebration will be at the pension fund's annual meeting in July when participating employers get together with TCDRS staff for an update about investments, operations and benefits, Ms. Thrift said.

“We don't want to go too overboard, but we are thinking about serving a really big birthday cake at the meeting,” she added.

This article originally appeared in the February 20, 2017 print issue as, "Texas County & District celebrates 50 years".