Teacher Retirement System of Texas Employee Reviews

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Exhausting job with little room for growth.
Benefits Counselor (Current Employee) –  Austin, TXJanuary 5, 2019
Expectations: You come in for 8 hours a day and talk on the phones about retirement or other TRS processes and troubleshoot issues.

Reality: You come in for 8ish (possibly more depending on the shift) hours a day and it's an incredibly random day...but it's usually on the more uncomfortable/depressing side of random. Maybe 0-5 calls in queue at anytime, maybe 200.

The training process was mediocre and there's a lot of information that you are expected to digest, but it is definitely "doable". Unfortunately, it really doesn't translate on the phone, as there is plenty they leave out.
You will wear many hats in this job. People will call to ask you every question under the sun, about TRS and about the most random things that are very un-TRS related. Sometimes you get the lighter side of things: People excitedly ready to retire, a happy retiree who just wanted legislation updates, or someone who just needs some forms sent out. Sometimes you get the darker side of things: people who threaten your life, those who want to steal their families members money, or those who may or may not have dementia and don't have anyone to help them navigate issues with their account.

Note: You will get yelled at or thrown large amounts of snarkiness on mostly daily basis. People like money, I get that... but often times, people seem to forget that they are talking to a real person on the other line. Learn to breathe in deep before applying. People fail to understand that government organizations are slow and 'shooting the messenger' will not fix things unless all boxes are checked.
  more... This isn't Starbucks. If a member didn't fill their paperwork out correctly, we send another one out to them...possibly months later. Yelling won't help them. We're slow. You'll be poke at the other departments, but you will have little control of processing speed unless we messed something up really bad. Don't worry, they'll yell at you for that also.

It seems like good pay to help people out on the phone all day, but it turns out, it doesn't feel like it pays well enough to be a punching bag, especially one with absent management who rarely helps when things get tough. It's easy to burn out here. I come home daily and I am ready to go straight to bed. My personal productivity in my life plummeted. I stopped going to the gym. My weekends are the most sacred of time. You may think you don't take home any work at the end of the day, but being unloaded onto all day will take its toll.

Occasionally you'll get a call where you can actually help the member (and they'll have something that actually needs to be remedied) and it's great! The most enjoyable part of TRS is truly helping the member, but honestly, with all the slow downs in company processes and the increased volume of refunds and retirements every year, you are more likely to be chewed out about the timeline of a payment or something more random, like "why has your online portal been down since 2017" (because its going through some major changes...like, literally everything in our system) or "why doesn't my printer work" (I'm not an IT guy for HP) or "why can't I access my spouse's account when they aren't around" (Due to confidentiality...), etc.

Management mostly treats benefit counselors like children ,who can not be trusted to take a bathroom break, or the enemy, who must know as little about the ins and outs of whats changing in the organization. Don't ask them too many questions about TRS' laws and policies, because they are likely to not know the answer. TRS culture seems pretty positive, but the benefits counselors often feel excluded from it these days. Other counselors who have been here much longer than myself have noticed a large, negative shift with recent (last 2 years) management changes. It's a letdown, because the way they advertise TRS to you during the training/application process seems pretty nice.

Ultimately, this isn't the worse or toughest job in Austin by a longshot, but there are better out there. If my long windiness is a sign, I can't say I recommend this job.
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Pros
Paid holidays, vacation time, work hours are (mostly) standard, the very cheap, pretty tasty cafeteria, the other counselors are a smart and capable bunch that are great to work with.
Cons
Lack of communication from other departments and management, insufficient training, lack of standardized protocol.
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1.0
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If you value people do not work here
Benefits Counselor (Current Employee) –  Austin, TXNovember 19, 2018
TRS not only treats it employees terrible it also withholds benefits from the people that pay into the system. Working for TRS was the worst experience of my life. I would rather not have a job than work there ever again.
Cons
Management
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4.0
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Best internship experience ever!
Risk Management Intern (Former Employee) –  1000 Red River St.August 8, 2018
During the summer of 2018 I was hired as an intern for the risk management department. The typical day of work started at 7:00-8:00 am and finished around 4:00-5:00 pm. All departments have different daily tasks, but all include individual and collaborative work. The culture at TRS is amazing. Everyone you encounter will make you feel welcome. Even executives will treat you with the upmost respect.
Pros
Location, Management, Paid Training
Cons
Location
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1.0
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Poor management
Administrative Assistant (Current Employee) –  Austin, TXAugust 24, 2017
Need better management and better employee to work with. Benefits were great. Lots of time off. Mon thru Friday. No weekends. Great employees to work with.
Pros
Great benefits time off
Cons
Better management
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2.0
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It's not what it used to be
Counselor (Current Employee) –  Austin, TXAugust 3, 2017
If you like to be micromanaged and constantly nitpicked over small stuff, this is the place for you. It's changed over the past two years. New management doesn't really care about the employees, only about advancing their careers. When you bring issues to upper management or even Human Resources, it gets swept under the rug and nothing gets done or that employee get labeled a troublemaker.
Pros
Lots of extra time off
Cons
Everything else
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2.0
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Private sector employees need not apply
Analyst (Former Employee) –  Austin, TXJuly 26, 2017
TRS is not really interested in a diverse workforce. They only seem to want state agency clones who have done the same thing, the same way at the same old boring agencies. You could be a subject matter expert from the private sector, but managers don't want those innovative solutions to their redundant processes.
Pros
Free on-site parking
Cons
Poor management
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1.0
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Good if you like being treated like a piece of furniture
Technical Support (Current Employee) –  Austin, TXApril 29, 2017
Lots of cliques; lots of people who horde knowledge and make you grovel to get them to do their job; Dept & Agency management condescending; state benefits keep getting worse; mid-management the worst example of passive-aggressive terror management; Dept & Agency management offer trivial perks that are more akin to Make-A-Wish efforts to make you forget you're in a dead-end job and not a solution to workplace apathy; Dept & Agency management seem to be more concerned about their own careers and being sure to find scape goats than actually finding real solutions to problems.
Pros
covered parking (I know weak)
Cons
Internal politics that prevent service improvement or professional or personal development
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3.0
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Good work life balance
Database Administrator (Former Employee) –  Austin, TXDecember 14, 2015
TRS give you lots of time off. For the most part things run smoothly. I have no real complaints.

Some of the people are not so friendly.
Pros
Good work life balance
Cons
Lots of clique
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5.0
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Hardworking and friendly staff, constantly learning
Benefits Proccessor (Current Employee) –  Austin, TXAugust 23, 2015
Welcoming and warm staff, ready to assist, teach, and learn at all times. Training is well-organized and individually based over a long period of time, ensuring full knowledge of the retirement process. The most enjoyable part of the job is seeing results in your individual work and acquiring greater analytical/problem-solving skills. Also a very fast-growing company.
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4.0
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Cohesive state agency with great benefits and security.
Records Management Intern (Current Employee) –  Austin, TXDecember 22, 2014
TRS is a supportive and friendly work environment. Great benefits and a supportive management team create a stable work environment and ample opportunities to learn new skills. I had a great internship but unfortunately was unable to maintain my position. That is the one down side to this organization; most people enjoy their positions and stay so long vacancies can be sparse.
Pros
One of the friendliest places I've ever worked, supportive management, security if you can get hired.
Cons
Difficult to find permanent position, not the highest paid job.
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2.3
Based on 12 reviews
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