A Pension Act in 1776 Paved the Way to Ensure Financial Security for Government Workers Today

In 1776, the founding fathers of the United States declared independence from Great Britain and made a bold statement: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” This declaration was a major milestone in the history of our nation and has been seen as a major contributor to our current retirement system. Public employee pension system leaders can thank the founding of the Continental Congress and the Declaration of Independence for the right to receive defined benefits and secure retirement plans - enabling local government workers to retire with peace of mind. In this blog post, we will explore how this important document has helped shape today’s public employee retirement benefits.

The Founding Fathers of the United States drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. This document served as a foundation for the establishment of our nation’s laws and freedom, and later, the right to secure retirement benefits.

That same year, the Continental Congress set a historic example of care for public servants with the passing of the first-ever Pension Act. Providing half-pay for life to those who were injured in the war and unable to work, this law became a landmark symbol of security for generations of future American civil servants.

In 1818, a law was instituted to offer financial assistance to servicemen who could no longer work. Then in 1832, a new Pension Act was written to extend pensions for service rendered and provided aid to widows of veterans as well.

As time went on, more states began to create defined benefit programs for other public sector workers, granting them access to pension funds upon retirement. Over time, states began offering retirement benefits to attract quality talent into public service positions.

Today, thanks to these monumental decisions made by our country’s founders centuries ago, the annuitants of TEXPERS System Members can rest assured knowing that they will have access to secure retirement benefits when they retire out of their systems. 

As our nation celebrates its Independence Day, it is an important time for us all to think back on those brave men who risked everything so we could enjoy life, liberty, and security - including secure retirement plans for generations of public sector workers in Texas and beyond!


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