Information and resources for city employers who help administer the TMRS program.
Resources for Cities
City Portal & Payroll Reporting
The City Portal gives city-designated users online access to their city and employee data. Through the City Portal, users are able to generate reports, download confidential documents, run estimates for members, enroll new members, and submit payroll data via TMRS’ FTP site.
If you are helping retirees update their Insurance Premium Deductions For Retired Public Safety Officers (HELPS) benefit during open enrollment or any other time, please make sure the form is filled out completely — including the retiree's social security number or TMRS ID. A complete form ensures timely processing and prevents payment delays. For more information on the HELPS program and how it benefits retired public safety officers, refer to this flyer. Download the TMRS-HLPS form from the website.
Ransomware Attack and Member Security
As reported in this article by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), multiple local government entities in Texas were attacked by Ransomware last week. If your city has been affected by this attack, TMRS is asking you to call us at 800.924.8677 and let us know. In general, any time your city experiences a cyberattack that may compromise employee information, we appreciate being notified so that we can monitor the TMRS accounts of your city’s employees for suspicious activity.
Attend a City Correspondent Certification Course
If you help employees with their benefits, become a TMRS Certified Benefits Administrator! The classroom setting of the City Correspondent Certification Course promotes discussion and gives you the tools you need to be a TMRS expert. Whether you are new to working with TMRS or more experienced, you will benefit from this course. Register for an upcoming City Correspondent Certification Course now.
Mid-Career Meetings are free two-hour presentations designed for employees who are vested with TMRS but several years away from retirement. View the meeting’s presentation, Understanding the Value of Your Benefit. If you are interested in bringing this type of event to your city, contact the TMRS Travel Team.
City GASB 68 Reporting Packages Now Available
The Governmental Accounting Standard’s Board Statement No. 68 (GASB 68) pension disclosure information for 2019 fiscal years is now available on our website. GASB 75 Reporting Packages will be available by July 31. The “GASB 68 Employer Reporting Package” is based on the December 31, 2018 (measurement date) actuarial valuation. Topics under the “2019 What You Need for GASB 68 Compliance” page are grouped under: Financial Statement Audit, Financial Reporting, Actuarial Resources, and General GASB Resources. Please be sure your finance officer is aware of this resource. In addition, TMRS' SOC-1 Audit Report (PDF; for use with GASB 68) and your city’s census data (Excel; for use with both GASB 68 and 75) are available as downloads from the City Portal. If you have questions about these materials, send an email to email@example.com.
2020 Rate Letters are now available on the TMRS website.
Choose your city’s name from the drop-down menu to view or download your rate letter. The letter contains detailed information on your city’s contribution rate for the year beginning January 1, 2020. Call 800-924-8677 if you have questions.
Please note that the information your city will need for its financial disclosures (your GASB reporting packages) will be available as two separate downloads (for GASB 68 and GASB 75, if needed) on the TMRS website by July 31.
Actuarial Valuation Available
The TMRS Board of Trustees approved the System’s Actuarial Valuation for the year ending December 31, 2018. The complete valuation, which is now available to download, contains rate information for cities for the year beginning January 1, 2020. Individual city rate letters will be available in early June.
May Board Meeting
The TMRS Board of Trustees will meet in our Austin office (1200 N. Interstate 35) on Thursday, May 30, at 1:30 p.m. and in a joint meeting with the Advisory Committee on Benefit Design on Friday, May 31, at 8:00 a.m. Presentations to the Board are posted under the Agendas and Minutes tab after each Board Meeting.
The TMRS Bill Passed May 21
Texas Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 1337, which will improve the administration and operations of TMRS. The bill was sent to the Governor May 25, and if approved, would not take effect until January 1, 2020. TMRS would like to thank Senator Joan Huffman and Representative Dan Flynn for sponsoring this legislation and for their support of TMRS. For details and background, see the Texas Legislature web page and the TMRS Legislative News page.
New Video about Refunds
If you have employees who are leaving city employment and are considering withdrawing their TMRS deposits, this new video explains how to receive a refund and the other options a departing employee may wish to consider.
Attend a City Correspondent Certification Course
The one-and-a-half-day City Correspondent Certification Course gives you a comprehensive overview of TMRS benefits and administrative procedures. In this course, TMRS plan administrators will be given the information they need to use the City Portal, process enrollments, and assist with retirements. Administrators will also learn how to answer questions from active and retiring members about service credits, retirement options, divorce, disability, and death benefits. Breakfast is provided both days, and lunch is catered on the first full day. Registration for the first Certification Course this year is now open through the Events & Training page. Watch for more classes to be announced soon.
Join Our Social Networks
TMRS is expanding our social media outreach with regular posts on helpful TMRS information and news. Learn about benefits, retirement processes, and TMRS events on Facebook.
Follow our training journey across Texas on Instagram. Read executive news about plan design, investments, and Board activities on LinkedIn. Be a part of our online community!
Investments and Interest Credits
At its March meeting, the TMRS Board of Trustees approved a -3.08% interest credit to the Benefit Accumulation Fund (BAF) for the year ending December 31, 2018, reflecting losses in the TMRS investment portfolio. Because TMRS uses an asset smoothing methodology that recognizes investment gains and losses over a 10-year period, this BAF interest credit resulted in an actuarial (smoothed) return of 6.06% for the year due to the partial recognition of deferred losses. The actuarially assumed annual return for the TMRS fund is 6.75%. City contribution rates are estimated to increase on average (will vary by individual city) by approximately 0.18% due to investment performance. Other actuarial experience that is being analyzed in the actuarial valuation currently underway will also affect required 2020 contribution rates. City contribution rates for 2020 will be available in early June.
TMRS is a long-term investor, and losses in some years are expected. Portfolio diversification helps mitigate losses over time, and actuarial smoothing of assets reduces the contribution rate volatility that would otherwise be associated with gains and losses based on a single year’s investment performance.
Member accounts are credited annually with 5% interest that is not tied to investment performance. A loss in the portfolio does not affect member or retiree benefits.
TMRS Bills Filed in the 86th Legislature
Legislation amending the TMRS Act was filed on March 1 in the Texas Senate (SB 1337,
by Senator Joan Huffman) and House of Representatives (HB 2821, by Representative Dan Flynn).
These proposed statutory changes will improve the administration and operations of TMRS. Both bills can be tracked on Texas Legislature Online,
and we will post updates on the TMRS Legislative page. The Board of Trustees approved the recommendations contained in the bill at its meeting on December 6, 2018.
TMRS Board Information
TMRS Board of Trustees officers for 2019 are Chair Bill Philibert (Director of Human Resources and Risk Management, City of Deer Park) and Vice-Chair David Landis (City Manager, City of Perryton).
Keep up with the activities of the TMRS Board using the tabs on the Board web page:
Calendar of meetings
Agendas (posted approximately a week before each meeting)
Minutes (following adoption)
Board materials and presentations (posted within a business day of each meeting)
You can also access information on Board committees, including the Advisory Committee on Benefit Design.
Keep City Contacts Up-To-Date!
Please notify TMRS immediately if there are any changes in your city’s authorized contact list. Authorized contacts have access to the City Portal for self-service features and confidential information. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know of these important staff changes. If the person designated as your City Portal Administrator has changed, you will need to sign a new City Portal Use Agreement.
Plan Ahead For Employee Meetings and Fairs
The six-member TMRS Travel Team attends city benefit fairs, open enrollment sessions, and other employee meetings on request. In 2018, the team visited with approximately 37,000 members and city administrators across Texas. If your city would like TMRS to attend your next event, send a request to the Communications Department. For planning purposes, please contact us as early as possible to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Rate Reminder Letters Mailed Today
TMRS mailed letters to cities reminding them of their 2019 contribution rate. This letter includes the updated rates for cities that adopted an ordinance since the last valuation. This rate is effective January 1, 2019 with the January
payroll report, which must be submitted to TMRS no later than February 15, 2019. If you have questions about your city’s rate or how to submit your payroll, please call our office at 800.924.8677.
Annual Interest Credit Applied
Annual interest credit (5%) was applied to all eligible member accounts on December 31, 2018. The interest allocation is 5% on the balance in your account as of January 1, 2018. To view your interest earned along with your 2018 transaction history, log in to your account on MyTMRS.
Have you ever wondered how TMRS funds retirement benefits? Our new video provides a short, clear explanation of the fiscal foundation of the retirement program.
TMRS’ 2018 Annual Seminar a Success!
Thank you to the City of Lakeway and the Lakeway Resort & Spa, host of our TMRS 2018 Annual Seminar last week. It was a successful event hosting 140 attendees.
Seminar topics included using storytelling to improve communication, preventing cybercrime, and the effect of Texas’ changing demographics on the state
workforce. If you were unable to make it this year, you can view the seminar presentations on the website.
Why Information Submitted about New Members Must be Accurate
When a new member joins TMRS, we collect personal information such as date of birth, gender, and monthly salary. Our actuaries require accurate information as part of the annual valuation process, which determines your city’s rate each year. Missing or incorrect information can affect your city’s contribution rate. The best way to submit new member enrollment data is through the City Portal, but if you choose to use a TMRS-0016 form, please be sure the form is accurate, legible, and complete.
Use the City Portal for Payrolls
Please be aware of the potential risk in sending paper forms, checks, and payrolls through the mail. The most secure option to transfer documents to TMRS is the City Portal. TMRS strongly encourages cities to upload all official documents and forms (including monthly payroll reports) through the City Portal. NOTE: Within the City Portal, for payroll documents use the Payroll tab, not the upload tab! TMRS also highly recommends that cities send their funds via EFT/ACH. Questions? Contact Jennifer Andrews at 800-924-8677 or send her an email.
TMRS Seminar Coming Soon!
Now’s the time to register for the 2018 Annual Seminar, November 7–9, in Lakeway, Texas, 28 miles west of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Join other city administrators who are “Sailing into Retirement” with TMRS. We're planning a lineup of informative speakers and fun activities with beautiful views of Lake Travis. Space is limited, so register now! The cost is $125, payable online with credit card. If you need to book a room, the deadline for the TMRS hotel block at the Lakeway Resort & Spa is October 8.
IRS Encourages “Paycheck Checkup” for Taxpayers’ Withholding
Due to the passage of a major tax law effective with the 2018 tax year, the IRS is encouraging taxpayers to do a “paycheck check-up” to help you determine the amount of tax to be withheld from your employee paycheck or your monthly benefit payment. Additional IRS guidance, including the calculator and links to IRS YouTube videos, can be found on the IRS’ website.
If you decide to update your withholding, city employees need to submit a new W-4 to their city employer, and TMRS retirees should either change their withholding on MyTMRS or submit a new W-4P to TMRS.
Address Change Reminder
When your employees change their addresses with your city, be sure to remind them to also change their address with TMRS. Please let your employees know they can change their address with TMRS online, using MyTMRS. If they are not yet on MyTMRS, please encourage them to sign up so they can take advantage of its features and keep their personal data up-to-date.
Online Resources to Assist Members
Are you responsible for educating your employees about their TMRS benefits? There is a variety of information available on our website to assist you. We encourage you to use the Cities page, which includes resources like flyers, videos, and a training calendar. We recently posted a new flyer, How to Retire with TMRS, which provides basic advice for members who are contemplating retirement. There is also a How Do I? webpage for cities, where you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions by city administrators.
City GASB 68 Reporting Packages Now Available for Download
The Governmental Accounting Standard’s Board Statement No. 68 (GASB 68) pension disclosure information for 2018 fiscal years is now available on our website. GASB 75 Reporting Packages will be available next week. The “GASB 68 Employer Reporting Package” is based on the December 31, 2017 (measurement date) actuarial valuation. Topics under the “2018 What You Need for GASB 68 Compliance” page are grouped under: Financial Statement Audit, Financial Reporting, Actuarial Resources, and General GASB Resources. Please be sure your finance officer is aware of this resource. In addition, TMRS' SOC-1 Audit Report (PDF; for use with GASB 68) and your city’s census data (Excel; for use with both GASB 68 and 75) are available as downloads from the City Portal. If you have questions about these materials, send an email to email@example.com.
2017 Financial Report Posted
In its June meeting, the TMRS Board of Trustees approved the TMRS Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The CAFR has been posted to the Financial Publications web page. This large report, prepared annually by the TMRS Finance staff, may be downloaded by sections or as a full PDF (156 pages).
Board Meeting Scheduled for Thursday and Friday
The TMRS Board of Trustees will meet in our headquarters building (1200 N. Interstate 35, Austin) on Thursday, June 28, at 1:30 p.m. and on Friday, June 29, at 9 a.m. The agenda, meeting calendar, and post-meeting presentations are found on the Board of Trustees page.
Executive Workshop in Kingsville
The first 2018 TMRS Executive Workshop will be held in Kingsville on July 10. City decision-makers and TMRS benefit administrators are invited to attend. TMRS staff provides an overview of TMRS issues, including investments and contribution rate stabilization techniques. Breakfast and lunch will be served, and the event is free. Register for and see future workshop locations through the Events & Training web page, and follow our Facebook page for event reminders.
Want to Host a TMRS Event in 2019?
If your city would like to host a TMRS event in 2019 (Retiree Luncheon, Regional Conference, or Certification Course) we want to hear from you! We are planning our training events for next year and want your help. Email the Communications Department with the subject line “We Want to Host a 2019 Event” and tell us which TMRS event you would like to bring to your city. We make every effort to spread events throughout the state and decide on locations based on availability and size of facilities.
City Contribution Rate Letters Now Available for Download
The 2019 Rate Letters for cities are now available online. Choose your city’s name from the dropdown menu and view or download your rate letter. The letters contain detailed information on city contribution rates for the year beginning January 1, 2019. Please call 800-924-8677 if you have questions. Please note that the information cities will need for financial disclosures (the GASB 68 and GASB 75 reporting packages) will be available as separate downloads on the TMRS website by July 31.
Actuarial Valuation Available
The TMRS Actuarial Valuation for the year ending December 31, 2017, is now available for download from the TMRS website. The valuation contains rate information for cities for the year beginning January 1, 2019.
Board and Advisory Committee Meetings this Week
The TMRS Board of Trustees will meet in our headquarters building (1200 N. Interstate 35, Austin) on Thursday, May 24, at 1:30 p.m. and will hold a Joint Meeting with the Advisory Committee on Benefit Design on Friday, May 25, at 8:00 a.m. The agenda, meeting calendar, and post-meeting presentations are located on the Board of Trustees page.
City Rate Letters Will Be Posted Soon
The 2019 Rate Letters for cities will be available online by June 8. The letters will contain detailed information on city contribution rates for the year beginning January 1, 2019. If you need information before then, the Actuarial Valuation will be posted immediately after the TMRS Board meeting on May 25. Also, the information cities will need for financial disclosures (the GASB reporting package) will be available as a separate download on the TMRS website in late July.
New Registration Page for City Correspondent Certification Course
It’s now easier to sign up for a certification course! We have moved the registration for the CCCC over to a new platform. You may now register and pay for the course online using a credit card. If you are taking advantage of the free registration promotion (for enrolling in electronic payroll) contact the Communications department at TMRS for instructions.
Advisory Committee Meeting
The TMRS Advisory Committee on Benefit Design met at Austin headquarters (1200 N. Interstate 35) on Thursday, April 26. The agenda and meeting materials are posted on TMRS’s Advisory Committee page. A summary of the meeting will be posted in the near future. The Committee will meet jointly with the TMRS Board on May 25, the second day of the May Board meeting. Meeting Materials
Sign Up for Electronic Payroll, Receive Free Registration!
If you’re not currently submitting your city’s payroll online, we encourage you to sign up and submit your first electronic payroll. TMRS will waive the registration fee for one of your city’s attendees to a 2018 training event (Annual Seminar or a Correspondent Course; find the schedule here). To take advantage of this offer and receive payroll upload assistance, email Chris Gillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jennifer Andrews at email@example.com, or call our office at 800-924-8677 and ask to speak to Chris G. or Jennifer.
Plano’s 457 Plan Receives Recognition
The City of Plano’s 457 plan was chosen as a finalist for Plansponsor magazine’s 2018 Plan Sponsor of the Year award in the Public Defined Contribution (DC) Plan category. This is a supplemental plan the City of Plano offers its employees in addition to the TMRS plan. Congratulations to Plano for this industry accolade!
2017 Interest Rate Credit for the Benefit Accumulation Fund
At its March meeting, the Board of Trustees approved an approximate 13.05% interest allocation to the TMRS Benefit Accumulation Fund for the year ending December 31, 2017. Full details of the Board action can be found in the GRS presentation to the Board.
Meeting of the Board of Trustees
The TMRS Board of Trustees will meet in our headquarters building (1200 N. Interstate 35, Austin) on Thursday, March 22, at 1:30 p.m. and on Friday, March 23, at 9:00 a.m. You can review the agenda, see meeting presentations after the meeting ends, and view a complete list of 2018 meetings on the Board of Trustees page.
Attend a City Correspondent Certification Course
The one-and-a-half-day City Correspondent Certification Course gives city administrators the knowledge and tools they need to work in partnership with TMRS. For 2018 the events will be held in Humble, North Richland Hills, Cedar Park, and Plano. The course covers forms, online tools, special situations, and other training correspondents can use to assist active and retiring members. Breakfast is provided both days, and lunch is catered on the first full day. Register to attend this important class through Eventbrite in the links provided.
Planning Ahead for Employee Meetings and Fairs
The six-member TMRS Travel Team attends city benefit fairs, open enrollment sessions, and other employee meetings on request. In the past calendar year, the team made 312 trips to TMRS cities and visited with approximately 23,000 members in the field. To help manage this essential function, TMRS respectfully asks that cities contact us with these requests as early as possible to avoid last-minute conflicts. Travel Team regions are here or you may send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Materials Available on Website
After each TMRS Board Meeting, we post Board presentations on the Board of Trustees page under the Board Members & Meetings tab. The calendar, filed minutes, and agendas for all Board meetings are all available on our website under the About tab -> Board of Trustees.
February Board Meeting to be held Thursday and Friday
The TMRS Board of Trustees will meet in the Austin office boardroom (1200 N. Interstate 35) on Thursday, February 15, at 1:30 and on Friday, February 16, at 9:00. The meeting agenda is posted on the Board of Trustees page under the Agendas and Minutes tab. Board presentations are also posted there after each Board Meeting. See the Board Meeting calendar for the complete list of 2018 meetings.
How to Prepare W-2 Forms
It’s that time of year! If you need assistance filling out your employees’ W-2 forms, there’s a “How Do I” page for that. The page explains the filing requirements, provides links to the current W-2 and IRS W-2 instructions, and explains the information related to TMRS that goes in each box on the form.
The “How Do I” pages provide mini-tutorials for many situations you may encounter when administering the TMRS plan.
City Contact Verification Project
TMRS is performing an audit of the authorized city contact list for all cities. You will be notified by email if we currently show a change in TMRS account status for any of your authorized city contacts (refunded, non-contributing, or retired). To assist us with this very important process, please email email@example.com if you know of any changes to your authorized contacts, or if you would like to confirm the names of those staff currently listed.
Happy New Year!
With the new year comes your city’s 2018 contribution rate. Rate reminders will be mailed in mid-January and you can download your city’s 2018 rate letter on the TMRS website. Remember, the new rate will apply to the January 2018 payroll submittal. The December 2017 payroll submittal will still require use of the 2017 rate and is due to TMRS no later than January 15. If you have questions about your city’s rate or how to submit your payroll, please call our office at 800.924.8677.
Any ordinances affecting your city’s TMRS plan to be effective January 1, 2018 must be in our office by December 31, 2017. By law, these changes must be transmitted to TMRS before the ordinance’s effective date. If you have already sent in your plan change ordinance and have not received an acknowledgment from TMRS, please contact us, right away.
City GASB Reporting Packages Now Available for Download
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 68 (GASB 68) pension disclosure information for 2017 fiscal years is now available on our website. This “GASB Employer Reporting Package” is based on the December 31, 2016 (measurement date) actuarial valuation.
Topics on the Eye on GASB page are grouped under: Financial Statement Audit, Financial Reporting, Actuarial Resources, and Other GASB Resources. Please be sure your finance office and external auditor are aware of this resource.
TMRS' SOC-1 Audit Report (PDF) and your city’s census data (Excel) are available via the TMRS City Portal. If your city is not yet on the City Portal, sign up now!
City Contribution Rate Letters Now Available for Download
The 2018 Rate Letters for cities are now available online. Choose your city’s name from the dropdown menu and view or download your rate letter. The letters contain detailed information on city contribution rates for the year beginning January 1, 2018. Please call 800-924-8677 if you have questions.
Please note that the information cities will need for financial disclosures (the GASB reporting package) will be available as a separate download on the TMRS website later this summer.
Actuarial Valuation Available
The TMRS Actuarial Valuation for the year ending December 31, 2016, is now available for download from the TMRS website. The valuation contains rate information for cities for the year beginning January 1, 2018.