Closing pension system carries huge cost for school districts

Michigan House Speaker-elect Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) has told reporters that his top priority is switching new school hires into a 401(k)-style defined contribution retirement system -- echoing the priority set with the wealthy, right-wing DeVos family in September. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) has now also said that moving this concept (SB 102) is a priority for the lame duck session.

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What the DeVoses and Lansing politicians seem to forget is that the Legislature made significant changes to the pension system in 2012 -- changes that are working to bring stability to retirement system for all school employees.

Now, we've found out from state budget experts that the changes being discussed will cost the state an EXTRA $24 billion over the next 30 years!  Where will that money come from -- new taxes or cuts to programs for students?  The Senate Fiscal Agency says SB 102 will cost between $1.6-3.8 billion over five years. MEA has generated a spreadsheet showing how much SB 102 could cost local school districts in cuts, including tabs showing the combined cuts for all the schools in a Senator or Representative's area.

Please take a few minutes to write your legislator and urge them to drop this costly, reckless concept immediately and allow the changes they've already made the time they need to work.  Ask them to not follow the DeVos push for more changes that will threaten retirement security for new hires and existing employees and retirees alike.

To learn more, check out MEA's fact sheet and history of pension changes.

Use the tool on the right to send an email.  If you'd rather call your State Senator or Representative, you can find their contact information here.

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