Over the years, more than one dozen local retirement systems have successfully petitioned the Legislature to codify certain aspects of their pension plans in state law, including provisions related to “contribution rates, benefit levels and the composition of their board of trustees.” By establishing their plan provisions in state statute, these select systems have erected a major political barrier to local oversight and control.

Absent approval from the Texas Legislature, many critical features of these state-governed systems cannot be changed or modified locally. This is true even in instances where the long-term sustainability and reliability of these systems has been called into question.