Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems, Houston, is leading an effort for a state constitutional amendment to guarantee pension benefits promised to the states public employees. Texas is one of only a few states that dont guarantee pension benefits, said Randy Stalnaker, TexPERS president and chairman of the $2 billion Dallas Employees Retirement Fund. The amendment would encourage better funding by imposing the liability on the public entity sponsoring the benefits, he said. A state court decision dating back to the 1930s still is used to allow public sponsoring entities to reduce benefits, he added.
The effort is the first time such an amendment has been sought, said W.J. Blythe Jr., TexPERS executive director. The amendment would not guarantee cost-of-living adjustments or defined contribution plan benefits, according to Messrs. Blythe and Stalnaker.
The association hopes to have the amendment introduced in the Texas Legislature when it reconvenes next year, they said.