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Monday, February 11, 2019


New website tool helps you 

advocate for public pensions


By Allen Jones, TEXPERS Communications Manager

Click to enlarge image.
The Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems has a new easy-to-use and powerful tool to help its members communicate with their legislators at the state and federal level.

TEXPERS Advocacy is a new website feature on the association’s website at www.texpers.org that allows you to participate in pension-focused legislative advocacy campaigns and engage with public officials. Now, you can easily track pension legislation, find out the association’s stance on important issues, gain an in-depth insight into important topics, as well as look up your political leaders and directly communicate with them.

TEXPERS has contracted with VoterVoice, a government relations software company, to improve the way the association and its members engage with government. In establishing our new site tool, TEXPERS Advocacy, members have the power to influence their political leaders on the importance of securing retirement incomes for police officers, firefighters, municipal employees, and other dedicated public workers throughout the state.

Leaders of public pension systems, their active and retired stakeholders, as well as those who provide plans with supportive services, face a growing number of serious challenges posed by an increasingly uncertain, rapidly changing, complex and difficult policy and investment environment. As retirement security becomes one of the defining issues of the 21st century, it is important for public officials to receive accurate information regarding the impact any proposed legislation could have on the retirement benefits of their hard-working constituents.

Pension plan trustees and administrators are encouraged to visit the TEXPERS website, click on the “TEXPERS Advocacy” link at the top of the home page, and utilize this new tool now as Texas convenes its 86th legislative session. On the site, you can check for active grassroots advocacy campaigns lead by TEXPERS, sign up for e-mail and text message alerts, find legislation, view current key legislation impacting public pensions, and find politicians that represent you.

Through TEXPERS Advocacy campaigns, the association informs you of the impact of harmful or helpful pension legislation, provides you with contact information of your political leaders and helps you frame your message through email, phone calls, letters and social media for maximum influence. TEXPERS staff can use the tool to keep track of member interactions with political leaders and find out in which part of the state some extra grassroots advocacy may be needed.

The new tool also helps TEXPERS keep you better informed by providing new streamlined calls to action, the ability to better survey its members to gain a consensus on topics, create petitions, automatically maintain up-to-date bill information, and other messaging opportunities. The site also allows TEXPERS to keep a score card on legislators to help inform members how their political leaders are voting on retirement security for public employees.

The same tool can be utilized at the federal level, offering TEXPERS members a greater national voice in public employee retirement. Use the tool to look up national government leaders, learn more about federal pension legislation and find how to message public officials. TEXPERS Advocacy empowers its members to be more effective in their engagements with government and is accessible on computers, tablets and mobile phones.

TEXPERS members spend day at 

Capitol advocating for secure retirement

Staff Report

A Texas House aide reads a resolution honoring
TEXPERS for its 30th anniversary. 
Thirty-five Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems members met with legislators to discuss the benefits of providing secure retirements for public employees such as firefighters, police officers, and municipal workers during the association's Capitol visit day Jan. 23 in Austin. 

TEXPERS members discussed the economic benefits defined-benefit pensions provide local and state economies and shared personal accounts of why they value having the secure retirement benefits. During the Capitol visit, the state House and Senate passed resolutions recognizing TEXPERS for its 30 years of educational and legislative advocacy for the pension plans relied on by cities, counties and special districts for their public employees. You can read news release about the resolutions here.

The trip to the Capitol was part of a two-day program hosted by TEXPERS that also included a workshop held the day before to teach TEXPERS members to communicate effectively with public officials. Joe Gagen, an Austin attorney and grassroots advocacy expert, lead the workshop. Nearly 50 people, including TEXPERS members and staff, attended the training session to better understand the public policy making process and learn to communicate pension fund issues more effectively with legislators.

In addition to gaining new communication skills, TEXPERS’ legislative team discussed current issues facing defined benefit pensions in the state. TEXPERS gave workshop attendees talking points that could be used during the Capitol visits on day two of the program.

After the workshop on day one of the association’s Austin legislative advocacy trip, 11 legislators or their staff joined TEXPERS for a reception. TEXPERS thanks everyone who attended, spoke, and volunteered their time for the two-day event, titled “Strategies for the 86th Legislative Session: Communicate Effectively with Legislators.”

For those who missed the event, photos are available for viewing on TEXPERS’ Facebook page. Click here to view the photo album. A video of a reading of a resolution honoring TEXPERS for its 30th anniversary can be found here.