In 1967 the Texas Legislature created TCDRS to provide the state's county and district employees with retirement, disability and death benefits. Every time you get a paycheck, 7% of your money goes into your TCDRS account. Your money currently earns interest at a rate of 7%. The money you deposit into your TCDRS account is not taxed until you withdraw it or choose a retirement benefit.
One of the great things about a defined-benefit plan like your TCDRS plan is that the ups and downs of the investment market don't affect your account. Whether the market does well or does poorly, your account still gets the 7% interest rate. Harris County assumes the investment risk of providing your retirement benefit.
You are considered "vested" when you have earned enough service time to be eligible for retirement once you reach the age requirement. To be vested, you must have 8 years of service credit. Once vested, you may stop working for Harris County and still keep your right to a future retirement benefit. Your personal account will keep earning interest each year until your membership ends. Your membership ends when you withdraw your personal deposits or choose a retirement benefit, or upon your death.
When you retire, you may choose to receive a monthly benefit payment. All payment options pay you for your lifetime. Some of the payment options also provide a monthly benefit for your beneficiary after your death.
Your monthly benefit is based on the amount of money in your account and the matching credits your employer has agreed to provide. Under your plan, you will get a 2.25:1 ratio of matching credits when you retire. This means that your employer will provide $2.25 for every $1.00 in your account as part of your monthly benefit.
Your participation in TCDRS is mandatory unless you are a temporary employee.
Questions or comments? Send email to: Human Resources and Risk Management.