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January 13, 2021 – TRS offices remain closed to the public.

When will TRS reopen?  For the time being, TRS will continue to follow existing protocols to protect the health and safety of employees and the constituents they serve... Read more

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Public pensions contribute to the state and local economy

Are Montana's public pensions a drain on taxpayers? Evidence tells us they are not. The National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) has published a report entitled Pensionomics 2021: Measuring the Economic Impact of DB Pension Expenditures, along with a fact sheet for each state. In the Montana fact sheet (pdf), NIRS estimates that "each taxpayer dollar 'invested' by Montana taxpayers in these pension plans supported $6.16 in total economic activity in the state." However, NIRS also points out that "Earnings on investments and employee contributions – not taxpayer based contributions – have historically made up the bulk of pension fund receipts."

Chart of funding sources for MT public pensions

How do public pension dollars help the economy? As noted in the NIRS Pensionomics 2021 Montana fact sheet (linked above), "Each dollar paid out supports $1.21 in total economic activity in Montana." For fiscal year 2020, TRS alone paid out more than $384 millon to TRS retirees and other benefit recipients, and the bulk of that amount – over $320 million – was paid to 13,570 individuals living right here in Montana. Each dollar they spend on goods and services has a multiplier effect on your local economy.

Image of TRS Retirement Benefit distribution for FY 2020
Click the image above for a detailed breakdown of TRS payments by county

School Boards page

Are you a Montana public school board member? TRS has created an informational webpage just for you.

The TRS Mission

Our mission is to promote long-term financial security for our members while proactively maintaining the stability of the system.

The most common sources of income for retirees in the U.S. are Social Security and personal savings (including investments). TRS members have the added security of a defined benefit pension plan in which the monthly benefit amount is based on both their years of service and their average final compensation. Defined benefits are guaranteed for the member's lifetime.

All TRS members contribute a percentage of their earned income as a share of the funding for their retirement, disability, and death benefits. TRS employers also contribute a share based on their employees' total earned income. The employer contributions go into a statewide pool and those pooled funds are invested by the Montana Board of Investments to provide long-term funding for TRS benefits.

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