The Retired State Employees Association of Texas (“RSEA”) was established with an initial and primary goal “to enhance and improve the status, benefits and morale of retired state employees.” Today that remains the association’s primary goal. RSEA is the one organization whose single focus is on the welfare of State of Texas retirees.
In early July 1977, Henry Rothell, then representing the Texas Employment Commission, received a call from State Senator A. M. Aikin, Jr., of Paris, Texas, then Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, with a request to help form a group to work for retiree benefits. Aikin had been upset when he realized that no employee group or organization would be working specifically for retirees during the next Legislative session, telling Rothell, “I want a group to look after retiree interests.” Rothell, with J. Weldon Watson, L. C. Rouse, William G. Gibbs and Evangeline E. Lane, organized the Retired Employees Association, Inc., and on July 14, 1977, the Texas Secretary of State issued this group its Articles of Incorporation Charter.
The name was later changed to the Retired State Employees Association, Inc., to better define publicly the organization's membership and priority focus. Through the years, RSEA has pursued many legislative agendas, but all had at their core a principled desire to improve retirees’ lives.
RSEA Adds the Retiree Voice at the Texas Legislature
Since its inception, RSEA has worked closely with members of the Texas Legislature and their staff, with Board and staff of the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS), and with other organizations to protect and enhance retirement benefits for retired State of Texas employees. Current priorities (in order of importance) include:
- Restoring the state pension fund to a status of actuarial soundness;
- Preserving insurance benefits program whose trademarks are wellness, cost-containment, and customer-friendly service;
- Ensuring that retiree issues and concerns are heard at the Legislature and ERS;
- Providing RSEA members with information about ERS and the Legislature
Association operations are directed by an 11-member Board of Directors, which includes 4 officers (President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, and Treasurer), elected by dues-paying members of the Association. The Board has a number of on-going committees to assure the needs of its members are addressed and that its membership continues to grow. Today, RSEA maintains offices at 314 Highland Mall Boulevard in Austin, Texas.