Monday, May 14, 2012

The Latest news on the RETIREMENT Bill

The latest version of SB 1040—legislation that attacks school employee retirement benefits—will be taken up TODAY by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Despite the fact that there is no specific language yet for the bill, and there is talk that a REPLACEMENT bill will be proposed today. THIS BILL IS PREDICTED TO HIT THE SENATE FLOOR on WEDNESDAY, 5/16.

Of the currently known proposals, one of the most significant changes is the move to pre-fund health care and guaranteeing a member’s right to receive health care upon retirement. The current legislature is quick to claim that the current system is suffering from a $47 billion unfunded liability, but they are slow to remember their predecessor’s (Gov. Engler) decision to stop supporting it. It is also unclear how they plan to fund this "pre-funding!" However, you can bet that it will be on the back of current employees.

Another change to SB 1040 reduces the contribution rate from 5 percent to 4 percent for members in the Basic Plan and from 8 percent to 7 percent for those enrolled in MIP. This is a bit of good news!

Other changes to SB 1040 were announced last week. Public school employees hired before June 30, 2008 will still qualify for full health care coverage once they’ve been employed for 10 years. And employees won’t have to wait until they reach 60 years of age to qualify for retiree health care coverage. This is good news for those of you who thought you might have to retire by May 31st.

More changes are expected, so don’t rush to make any retirement decisions.

Continue to call or email your senator! (Please use cells or home email carriers!)

Click on the following link for an EASY way to email your Senator - CLICK HERE

Here is what you should tell your senator -

1) While the 1% reduction in the percentage of contribution for retirement for school employees is going in the right direction, the 3 to 4% loss of income, on top of the current 3% deduction for health care puts a strangle hold on your family's finances. Funding college, paying for homes, and providing a quality life for your family is endangered!

2) You are already paying 10% of your current insurance rates and will pay 20% or anything over the hard cap set by them next year. You can not also pay for your future health care when your present health care costs are soaring!

3) THAT IT IS FLAT OUT WRONG for them to be diminishing your income when they have given a $1.8 BILLION dollar tax refund to the businesses of Michigan! There is very little to show for that $1.8 Billion dollar refund given to businesses at the cost of our schools.

4) THAT IT IS FLAT OUT WRONG for them to give businesses yet another tax break through changes to the Personal Property Tax while reducing the income of educators and state workers.


Here is the easy to use website to contact your senators! CLICK HERE