Employee Retirement System of Texas
Employees Retirement System of Texas
The Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) oversees retirement and health benefits for State of Texas employees to provide for, protect, and enhance the economic well-being of members, retirees, and their beneficiaries through effectively managing benefit programs, using sound actuarial principles and available resources consistent with applicable laws. The programs offered by ERS include benefit payments for both service-related and disability-related retirements and benefits for survivors of active and retired members.
ERS has the powers, privileges, and immunities of a corporation. Although the system is a separate legal entity and by statute must prepare a separate annual financial report, it is also considered a part of the State of Texas financial reporting entity and is included in the state’s annual financial report.
ERS was limited in the beginning to investing only in government securities. During its first year, the $2.9 million in member and state contributions was invested in U.S. bonds. After the reorganization in 1958, investments were allowed, within specific parameters, in corporate securities, common stocks, preferred stocks, debentures, bonds, mortgages, etc. The first investment in corporate stocks was in 1960 when ERS purchased 10,000 shares in 30 corporations at a cost of $614 million. The change that possibly affected ERS operation more than any in its 50-year history came in 1975 (Senate Bill 90, 64th Legislature, Regular Session), when the Legislature created the Texas Employees Uniform Group Insurance Program to provide high quality health insurance and other optional coverages for employees, retirees and their eligible dependents beginning September 1, 1976. Known as UGIP, it has grown over the years and now also offers this health insurance coverage to most state institutions of higher education. In 1992 membership in UGIP was expanded to include employees of state institutions of higher education, junior colleges, and community colleges, other than the University of Texas and Texas A&M Systems (which are covered by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas).
Creator: Employees Retirement System of Texas.
Dates: 1956, 1973-2009, undated
Abstract: The Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) oversees retirement and health benefits for State of Texas employees to provide for, protect, and enhance the economic well-being of members, retirees, and their beneficiaries through effectively managing benefit programs, using sound actuarial principles and available resources consistent with applicable laws. Reports and correspondence, dating 1956, 1973-2009, and undated, illustrate the agency’s interests in researching and studying issues such as pension and retirement plans around the country, the attitudes of Texas workers (both public and private) toward their retirement and insurance programs, the standards for HMOs (health maintenance organizations) and investment prospects, and the performance of the agency itself.