The time is right to fix Michigan’s broken teacher retirement system.
As you know, Michigan taxpayers now face a staggering $29 billion unfunded liability in the public school employees retirement system (MPSERS), created by chronic underfunding of the state’s public school teacher pension system.
Michigan has the best and brightest teachers in the world, and they deserve every penny of the retirement benefits they’ve earned. What’s more, our retirees’ benefits are guaranteed by the state constitution.
Unfortunately, decades of kicking the can down the road have created a crisis that threatens school districts’ solvency, future teachers’ benefits, and the taxpayers ultimately on the hook for the broken system. These incredible liabilities will require severe cuts to public services in order for the state to meet its constitutional obligations.
The House and Senate are currently considering a common sense proposal – House Bill 4647 and Senate Bill 401—to preserve and protect every penny of the benefits earned by current teachers and retirees while moving new teachers into a competitive, portable 401(k) retirement plan like those provided to state employees and the vast majority of private sector employees.
We believe this is a common sense, good government solution to a rapidly expanding debt crisis.
Without urgent action, we risk our school districts’ solvency, their ability to attract the best and brightest teachers, and threaten the future benefits of the educators on whom our children will soon rely.
Our teachers deserve better than that, and we urge you to address this crisis immediately by supporting House Bill 4647 and Senate Bill 401.