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Our Missouri retirement system is in jeopardy. Public School Retirement System (PSRS) and Public Education Employee Retirement System (PEERS) is among the best in the nation and has more money in its system than all other Missouri state employee systems combined!
Now it is under attack by a few state legislators who have tried and still are attempting to pass legislation that would negatively alter the monthly retirement check of public school retirees. Some want to put our funds into a big pot with the other state retirement systems, and then this “new” system would be in control of politicians who should not handle our money. Since we have the most money and non-political elected board, who would benefit? Not PSRS/PEERS!
Also, another attack on PSRS/PEERS is some trying to pass legislation to have each teacher/support staff person pay into a private retirement plan like a 401K. If this should happen, money that is being paid currently into our retirement system would cease. Public school employees are paying 28 percent of their salaries (14% from their paychecks and 14% from the local school board) into the retirement system. Public school employees are the only state agency making this level of contribution to their retirement program. Since retired teachers receive money from what teachers are currently paying in, our funding source would be gone.
The Missouri Retired Teachers Association (MRTA) is our watchdog in Jefferson City. Quoting Jim Kreider, executive director: “MRTA works exclusively for the education retiree in Missouri and is all inclusive and independent. The retiree is the number one priority.” MRTA stands all alone defeating or passing legislation for us, the retiree.
Now is the time for you, who has PSRS or PEERS, to join MRTA and help support the upcoming battles. (By the way, it was MRTA alone who obtained Missouri tax exemptions for education retirees).
The state has 54,000 retirees yet only 18,000 members belong to this vital organization. The more educators who join, the stronger in Jeff City MRTA will be. You are essential. “The future belongs to those who show up,” says Kreider. Dues are only $35 (cheap enough to insure your paycheck). Join Missouri Retired Teachers Association, 3030 DuPont Circle, Jefferson City, MO 65109; 1-877-366-6782.
Respectfully submitted by Russ Robinson, Legislative Chairman of Wright County Retired Teachers.
Russell V. Robinson