Action!
























































Sinqufield’s Blueprint for Disaster


A Response from Dr. James Sandfort
Recently, the Show-Me Institute launched a rather ambitious agenda for the coming year. Among the areas of focus, one, in particular, caught my attention – Public Pension Reform.
As far as public pension reform is concerned two important words were omitted from the title; “for Disaster.” For every PSRS/PEERS member, retired or active, Show-Me Institute’s 2018 Blueprint is a serious recipe for disaster. The goal is to replace the current defined benefit pension plan (DB) with a defined contribution plan (DC) – as the authors suggest – “think 401(k).”
The Show-Me Institute’s Logic:
*DC plans cannot incur unfunded liability
*DC plans put investment decisions into the employee’s hands
*DC plans are transferable from one job to another
The authors emphasize that DC plans for public employees exist, in some form, across the country. What they fail to mention is that other states have experimented with DC plans, judged them flawed and have returned to DB plans for their public employees; most notably, Connecticut.
Additionally, the authors fail to share that 401(k) plans, according to original proponents, were never intended to replace DB plans – only supplement them. Those who study the 401(k) approach have concluded that a 401(k) account, even when generously funded, rarely provides a secure retirement for the average worker – the 401(k) math used in the 80’s and 90’s didn’t add up. The reality is that a 401(k) plan is not a pension plan at all – it is just another type of savings account.
Although DC plans can be portable and move with the employee – once a member is vested in a DB plan (generally after 5 years) there is no need for portability. Upon retirement a check based on years of work, contributions and investment earnings will be there for the remainder of the retiree’s life. One of PSRS/PEERS’s rationales for the creation of Missouri’s DB plan was to attract and retain qualified teachers. It has done just that!
While a DC plan does place investment decisions into the employee’s hands, what employee has the technical knowledge to make those critical investment decisions or the time for ongoing meetings with various financial advisors discussing the intricacies of fees and commissions, risk analysis, a balanced portfolio and more? Most educators entered the profession to work with students and are quite content having qualified professionals at PSRS/PEERS invest their pension dollars. And why should they not be? PSRS/PEERS has provided a secure retirement for tens of thousands of public school educators for more than seven decades.
The claim that DC plans do not incur unfunded liability for the taxpayer overlooks a key point. Many DB plans that are experiencing difficulty financially are in trouble precisely because those same entities that would be funding DC plans have withheld contributions they were obligated to make to DB plans already in existence. It is wishful thinking to believe that these same entities would meet their commitments any better over the long term to any DC plans they create. Bad faith is bad faith regardless of the system in place!
So why would others want to dismantle PSRS/PEERS when it is functioning as intended? Perhaps it is a matter of political ideology or a case of “pension jealousy.” Or perhaps, more insidiously, they are eyeing the dollars involved and want a piece of the financial action, collecting unnecessary fees and commissions, at educators’ expense. Whatever the reason, that cannot be allowed to happen!
For seventy years, PSRS/PEERS has delivered on its promise without default or interruption. Although the check that PSRS/PEERS retirees have reliably received each month for decades may be viewed by others as something extra; for those who have spent a career in public schools educating young people, it is “deferred compensation” for work already done. For Missouri educators there are no social security checks, no stock options, no golden parachutes and no year-end bonuses – there is only PSRS/PEERS!
From my perspective,
Jim Sandfort, Retired Superintendent
Center for Pension Research

Click HERE to see Mr. Sinqufield's group, The Show Me Institute's, plan for our retirement program.

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Thanks to all of our efforts, our COLA has been restored ... for now.
 November 3, 2017



1.63% COLA for 2018!


Congratulations, you did it!  The PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees met today to revisit the COLA policy and voted to change the policy.  The Board of Trustees chose to go with Scenario F.  This scenario will start in 2019.  For 2018 you will receive the CPI-U as of June 30, 2017, of 1.63% which means for 2018 you will receive a 1.63% COLA.  This was all possible thanks to the hard work of MRTA and our members.
Scenario F (2% when CPI-U reaches Cumulative 2%)
0% COLA when CPI-U is negative or when CPI-U is between 0%-2% and cumulatively below 2%
2% COLA when CPI-U is between 0%-2% and cumulatively 2% or more
2% COLA when CPI-U is between 2%-5%
5% COLA when CPI-U is above 5%
2% COLA will start on January 1, 2019

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SHOCKED!  STUNNED!  DISAPPOINTED!  by Jim Kreider, MRTA Executive Director

The latest edition of the MRTA News Bulletin is available online  

and shares some disturbing news. The PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees have decided to change the COLA policy that will eliminate a cost-of-living adjustment for 2017!
MISSOURI RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION AND PUBLIC SCHOOL PERSONNEL
877-366-MRTA
3030 DuPont Circle
Jefferson City, MO 65109

July 1, 2016

No COLA for 2017- PSRS/PEERS Policy Change

Dear MRTA Members:

You will not be receiving a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2017.  Click here to read more.

For comments or more information contact:



MRTA Executive Director Jim Kreider - mrtadirectorkreider@mrta.org 
THANK YOU for being counted as a member of MRTA!

The #1 priority of MRTA and Public School Personnel is to promote and protect pensions, programs, and benefits of all public school personnel in retirement. United we stand strong!

Jim Kreider
MRTA Executive Director

MISSOURI RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION AND PUBLIC SCHOOL PERSONNEL
877-366-MRTA
3030 DuPont Circle
Jefferson City, MO 65109

April 21, 2016

Call to Action!
Action Required! 



The 2016 Legislative Session will end at 6:00 pm, May 13th

ONLY THREE WEEKS LEFT! CALL TO ACTION

NOW is the time to show the strength of MRTA. Write your Senator today. We need thousands of e-mails to the Senate!
As of the writing of this e-mail, the PSRS/PEERS systems have had a 0% return on investment. The stock market has not been good.  There are three bills in the Senate that MRTA supports. These bills will help make our retirement system fundamentally more sound.  Please write your Missouri State Senator today asking for the support and passage of: 
  • HB 1709 - Divorce "pop-up" reform.
  • HB 1710 - Kelly Services, requires all retirees to conform to the the 550 hour Work After Retirement (WAR) Law whether working for an employment service company or not. This will ensure contribution payments to the system from active employees and from the school district. 29% total contribution of payroll.   
  • HB 1780/HB 1420 - reinstating the 2.55 benefit factor after 31 years of service. This bill saves the system approximately $7 million per year. 

All three of these bills are in Senator David Pearce's Committee on Education,david.pearce@senate.mo.gov.   Please drop him a note of thanks and ask him to push these bills to passage.
Please also voice your opposition to SB 1059 (Senator Schaaf) and HB 2314 (Rep Leara) dealing with Saint Louis City Teacher retirement benefits to your Senator. This is a very bad piece of legislation as it reduces the retirement benefit for active working teachers while raising their contribution rate at the same time. This bill will set a very bad precedent for PSRS/PEERS if it is  allowed to pass. The active educators of Saint Louis City need our support. 

To add insult to injury, there has been no discussion to a resolution of a COLA for Saint Louis City Retirees who have not had a COLA since 2006. If they were serious about reforming the Saint Louis City retirement system they would discuss putting an automatic COLA in to law for Saint Louis City Teachers, especially if they are asked to pay more and get less benefit. OUTRAGEOUS! This bill must be defeated.
Suggested note for you to copy and paste into your email:
Dear Senator xxx
As a voter, taxpayer, and MRTA member in your district please support and vote for HB 1709 (divorce), HB 1710 (employment services) and HB 1780/HB 1420 (2.55 after 31 years). These three bills deal with positive reforms for the PSRS/PEERS retirement systems. It is anticipated that these bills will soon be on the Senate calendar for debate. They will be coming out of the Senate Committee on Education, Senator Pearce Chairman.
I also ask your opposition to SB 1059 (Senator Schaaf) same as HB 2314 (Rep Leara) in the House. We are adamantly opposed to a reduction of benefits for Saint Louis City teachers while at the same time requiring more contributions from them to the system. This is a mid-career change in benefits and sets a terrible precedent for all public school educators.
THANK YOU for your time and attention to this correspondence.
NAME
ADDRESS
PHONE NUMBER


THANK YOU for being counted as a member of MRTA!

The #1 priority of MRTA and Public School Personnel is to promote and protect pensions, programs, and benefits of all public school personnel in retirement. United we stand strong!

Jim Kreider
MRTA Executive Director
mrtadirectorkreider@mrta.org
877-366-6782



Missouri Retired Teachers Association and Public School Personnel | 3030 DuPont Circle | Jefferson City | MO | 65109

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MISSOURI RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION AND PUBLIC SCHOOL PERSONNEL
877-366-MRTA
3030 DuPont Circle
Jefferson City, MO 65109

April 21, 2016

Call to Action!
Action Required! 

Defeat HB 2314
Reduction of Benefits for St. Louis City Retirees

Dear MRTA:

This is an important CALL TO ACTION. Please act now!  Let's show them our strength in numbers!  This is a terrible precedent for ALL public school educators if passed!    

Suggested note for you to copy and paste into your email:
Dear Representative XXX
As a voter, taxpayer, and MRTA member in your district please oppose HB 2314 (Rep Leara) in the House. HB 2314 will possibly be introduced as an amendment to HCS SB 639 which is on the House calendar, Senate Bills for Third Reading.  MRTA is adamantly opposed to a reduction of benefits for Saint Louis City teachers while at the same time requiring more contributions from them to the system. This is a mid-career change in benefits and sets a terrible precedent for all public school educators. This is breaking the promise made to them when they were hired. HB 2314 reduces the benefit factor from 2.0 to 1.75 and will require teacher contribution increases from the current 5% to 9 % with no COLA allowances. Saint Louis City Teachers also pay into Social Security.
THANK YOU for your time and attention to this important issue. Please vote against any amendment that includes HB 2314-Leara.
NAME
ADDRESS
PHONE NUMBER


THANK YOU for being counted as a member of MRTA!

The #1 priority of MRTA and Public School Personnel is to promote and protect pensions, programs, and benefits of all public school personnel in retirement. United we stand strong!

Jim Kreider
MRTA Executive Director
mrtadirectorkreider@mrta.org
877-366-6782




Missouri Retired Teachers Association and Public School Personnel | 3030 DuPont Circle | Jefferson City | MO | 65109

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MRTA Halftime Report
ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE 2016 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
From the MRTA E-News, Volume 4, Number 2, March 2016



2016 COLA Set at 2% for PSRS/PEERS of MO Retirees

Dear MRTA Members
I attended the meeting of the PSRS/PEERS of Missouri Board of Trustees yesterday and voiced our support of the recommended 2% COLA for 2016 for those eligible. The vote was unanimous.  The CPI (Consumer Price Index) was only .12% but we received 2%.  GOOD NEWS!!!!! This is why there is a MRTA.  Please click here for more about the COLA.THANK YOU!

THANK YOU for being counted as a member of MRTA!

MRTA organized in 1960, is the oldest and largest retiree association in Missouri consisting of 24,000 of public school retirees.  At MRTA the education retiree and educator pension benefits are our #1 priority.

Jim Kreider
MRTA Executive Director


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2015 Legislative Day
A bus of Region 13 MRTA members joined hundreds of fellow retired school personnel February 18, 2015 at the Missouri State Capitol.  The purpose was to visit our state legislators and let them know the positions we support on several education and retirement issues.

These included:
  • Full funding of the Foundation Formula and opposing the use of public tax dollars for private schools.
    • The Missouri Constitution mandates adequate funding of K-12 education through HB 2 which requires education funding as the second priority of state expenditures.  The Public School Foundation Formula is currently underfunded by at least $650 million dollars.  This is particularly troublesome for rural schools and inner city schools because a high percentage of their funding comes from the state.
  • Opposing SB 94 (Emory), HB 484 (Koenig) and HB 485 (Koenig).
    • SB 94 (Emory) and HB 484 (Koenig) would put State Legislators into a 401(k) retirement plan; and  HB 485 (Koenig).establishes a hybrid retirement plan and requires all new members of the plan to participate in the Defined Contribution Plan (DC) for state employees and elected officials who become employed on or after January 1, 2016.  MRTA opposes any mandate merging the PSRS/PEERS funds with any 401(k) (DC) plans for Missouri public employees including the Legislature.  This is a slippery slope that leads to educators being put into a 401(k).
  • Supports HB 478 (Fitzwater) and SB 219 (Wallingford).
    • This legislation reinstates the 2.55 factor for educators after 31 years of service.  This legislation is a net GAIN for the PSRS/PEERS systems and will help retain good educators in the classroom.
  • Supports a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for the Saint Louis City School District and Kansas City School System.
    • The Saint Louis City retirees have not had a COLA for eight years.  This is an issue of fairness in the fact that PSRS/PEERS retirees have an automatic COLA written into Missouri Law.  Saint Louis City retirees have lost approximately 18% of their buying power in the last eight years.  The Kansas City System retirees have not had a COLA in six years.  We call on the Legislature to persuade the Kansas City school system and the PSRS of Kansas City, the Saint Louis School District and the PSRS of STL to grant a COLA increase in 2015 to current retirees.
  • Opposes SB 27 (Emory). 
    • SB 27 is a version of Amendment 3 which was defeated by 77% of the vote of the people on November 4,2014.  SB 27 reduces local control of school districts by requiring educator evaluations and salaries to be based on student performance.  SB 27 requires school report cards and eliminates tenure.
MRTA also provided a delicious fried chicken and fish lunch to all State Legislators and their staff. 

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