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Transparency Stars Program
TMRS Resource Page
for Texas Comptroller of Public Account’s Transparency Stars – Public Pensions

Questions? Contact

Description of Local Government Transparency Stars Program on State Comptroller's website
Description of application process on State Comptroller's website
Example transparency pages of TMRS cities on the Comptroller's website: To see TMRS city pages, view the Public Pensions column and scroll to the examples that say “View Site.”

To assist your city in fulfilling the documentation for the Public Pensions Guidelines [checklist], TMRS is providing descriptions of the materials with links where appropriate. Generally, a city should be able to find most of its information in its annual TMRS Rate Letter, with the Investment performance data for the System in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

Note about TMRS Cities / Entities: The Comptroller’s office has indicated that members of statewide, cash balance plans such as TMRS are eligible for the pension star because they exercise some independent decision-making about their benefit elements at the local level. Cities that are members of TMRS should ensure that elements on their sites demonstrate clearly their distinct performance/decision-making within the plan (i.e., if including a statewide document or report to meet the Star requirements, include the page numbers referring to your city; or you can pull out your city-specific information from statewide information to create your graphic representations, etc.). Individual city plan provision information is available in two tables on the TMRS website. City Plan Provisions | My City Plan

Transparency Stars Public Pensions Checklist

(summary chart equivalent to the Public Pensions Checklist posted on the Comptroller’s website). Review the overall requirements on the Comptroller’s website, and use the list below for help with TMRS documents. City-specific information is highlighted in green and the System (TMRS) information is highlighted in grey. Current and archived TMRS CAFRs and Schedules of Changes in FNP are found under the Publications for Cities page, Financial Reports tab.

Abbreviations used below:
AV = Actuarial Valuation
CAFR = TMRS' Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
RL = Rate Letter

Required Elements Source
Dedicated webpage or section of website Roll over links below for more information
City Specific InformationGeneral narrative overview of the transparency area
3 clicks or less from the homepage
Include and explain the elements of your City Plan Provisions
Public Pensions Summary  
City Specific InformationFunded ratio RL (Executive Summary), AV
Amortization period RL (Calculation of Contribution Requirement), AV
System InformationOne-, three- and 10-year rates (if available) of return, with basic explanation (or link to basic explanation) of methodology employed CAFR
System InformationAssumed rate of return RL, AV
City Specific InformationActuarially Determined Contribution (ADC) Rate (if plan has UAAL), with comparison to current Total Contribution Rates RL (Full Retirement Rate in the Executive Summary), AV - City can find the current total contribution in TMRS-3 reports, plus any lump sum payment
City Specific InformationUnfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability (UAAL) as percent of covered payroll RL (Executive Summary), AV
Visualizations City
City Specific InformationTime trend going back five years showing actuarial value of assets versus actuarial accrued liability Data to create these charts (AVA and AAL) is found in RL
City Specific InformationTime trend going back five years comparing the ADC to the actual total contribution rate Data to create these charts (AVA and AAL) is found in RL
Documents Documents TMRS provides city or posts on web
System InformationFive most recent actuarial valuations AV, RL
System InformationFive most recent audits or annual reports, including:  
System Information
  • Statements of fiduciary net position
CAFR (Financial Section)
System Information
  • Statements of changes in fiduciary net position
Pre-2014: CAFR (Schedule of Changes in BAF)
Post-2014: Schedule of Changes in FNP
Downloadable Data  
City Specific InformationActuarial value of assets versus actuarial accrued liability over time going back at least five years RL
City Specific InformationDataset(s) containing the following for the last five years:
  • Total additions for the most recent valuation period by source, such as investment income, other income, employer, employee and other contributions
  • Total deductions for the most recent valuation period by use such as benefit payments, withdrawals, administrative expenses and investment related expenses
RL or CAFR (Schedule of Changes in BAF)

Schedule of Changes in FNP or GRP

NOTE – For years 2011-13, this is termed differently; found in CAFR Financial Section, Change in BAF
Other Information
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Public Pension Search Tool includes details on state and local pension plans in Texas.


Actuarial Valuation (AV)

AVs are currently available on the website for 2008 through 2016. [Actuarial Reports section of the Publications page, under “Archive”] The 2015 and 2011 Actuarial Experience Studies are also available on the website. Older AVs are available upon request.

Rate Letter (RL)

The City RL contains detailed information on the required city contribution rate. All RLs are available on the website for the past 5 years (2014 through 2018), accessible from a drop-down menu [Rate Letters page, under current and Archive sections]. Prior to the 2016 RL (sent in 2015), the RL also contained GASB disclosure information.

GASB Reporting Package (GRP)

GASB letters are maintained on the website, accessible by cities and the public through a drop-down menu [Eye on GASB page, under GASB Reporting Packages].  
(Note: Additional GASB-related resources for cities, including census data that is confidential under state law, are available to authorized city personnel through the secure, password-protected City Portal.)

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

The web page for all electronically provided CAFRs (latest + archive copies) is found under the Financial Reports tab.

Schedule of Changes in Fiduciary Net Position (FNP)

These documents are also found under the Financial Reports tab.  Due to changes in reporting standards, in 2014, the Schedule of Changes in Fiduciary Net Position for each participating municipality was removed from the CAFR and published as a supplement.

The AV, RL, and the Actuarial Section of the CAFR are good sources for terminology definitions.