What New & Active Members Need to Know

 Membership

As a new TRS member, once you have earned five years of credit with TRS, you are vested and can receive a lifetime retirement benefit when you become age eligible. In most cases, the retirement benefits paid to TRS members greatly exceed the funds they contribute to TRS while working. In fact, most 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.

Beneficiary Designation

One of your most important responsibilities as an active contributing member is to maintain a current beneficiary designation. Please remember any life changing event (marriage, divorce) may negate your current beneficiary. See Beneficiary Designation.

Advantages of My TRS Membership?

TRS Member Identification 

In an effort to help protect your privacy, TRS no longer uses Social Security numbers in correspondence. Instead, TRS has assigned you a unique, six-digit member identification that is unique and only recognizable to TRS. This TRS member ID appears on personal communications you receive from TRS and is readily identifiable. We encourage you to always use this ID when contacting TRS. Never email or fax your full Social Security number to TRS.

Annual Statement of Account

Each fall, you will receive an Annual Statement of Account from TRS. It includes the amount of your contributions, accumulated interest, years of credit, salary history and your beneficiary designation. Please review it carefully for accuracy. It is much easier to correct an error 6 months later than 27 years later.

For more information about the statement, click here.

Always Keep Your Addresses Current with TRS

It is so important for you to always keep your email and physical addresses current with TRS. We mail quarterly newsletters, ballots for voting for the members of the Board of Trustees, we send your annual statement, special notices and numerous other documents and important communications upon retirement. 

Change of address form (active members)

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If at you have a question, please contact the information center at 800-618-1687, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.