Once a TRS member earns five years of credit with TRS, the member can receive a lifetime retirement benefit when eligible. In most cases, the retirement benefits paid to TRS members greatly exceed the funds they contribute to TRS while working. In fact, many TRS retirees recover all their contributions within the first five years of retirement. (Retired return-to-work members who previously retired from a TRS employer and have started subsequent accounts should consult the returning to work page for retirees.)
Membership for Part-Time Employees & Substitute Teachers
As of July 1, 2002, retirement service credit will be earned and contributions will be withheld on TRS non-university members for part-time and substitute employees. See Membership, Contribution Rates & Benefit Calculations for more information. Members providing part-time and substitute services with fewer than five years in their initial retirement account must complete at least 69% 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 services in a secondary retirement account will not be eligible for survivor, life insurance or disability benefits from the secondary account.
One of the most important responsibilities for an active contributing member is to maintain current beneficiary designations. Remember, any life changing event (marriage, divorce) may negate a prior beneficiary designation. See Beneficiary Designation.
Advantages of TRS Membership
- TRS defined benefit provides a predictable retirement income for life, including an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and access — subject to eligibility — to retiree health insurance coverage.
- Life insurance benefit upon the death of an active member or retiree
- Survivor benefits
- Disability retirement
TRS Member Identification
In an effort to help protect privacy, TRS assigns each member a unique, six-digit identification that only is recognizable to TRS. This TRS member ID appears on personal communications received from TRS and is readily identifiable. Use this ID when contacting TRS. Never email or fax a full Social Security number to TRS.
Annual Statement of Account
Each fall, active members receive an Annual Statement of Account from TRS. It includes the amount of contributions, accumulated interest, years of service credit, salary history and beneficiary designations. Review it carefully for accuracy.
For more information about the statement, click here.
Always Keep Addresses Current with TRS
It is important for members to keep email and physical addresses current with TRS, even if no longer contributing or already retired.
Change of address form (active members)
If at you have a question, contact the information center at 800-618-1687, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.