March 29, 2012 – Call to Action – SCS SB 842 Placed on Senate Calendar for Debate and Vote.

Dear MRTA Members:

On March 22nd, MRTA issued a "Pension Alert" and an MRTA "Call to Action" informing you of the need to contact your Missouri State Senator and ask him or her to OPPOSE SCS SB 842.  Today, this Legislation has been placed on the Senate Calendar for debate. 

THANK YOU to all MRTA members who have written their Senator so far.  For those who have not, please do so within the next couple of days.  A sample letter is below that you can cut and paste in an e-mail OR click on the names in this sentence for two very good letters from MRTA Legislative leaders George Foster and Warren Solomon of Jefferson City as examples. 

Please click here for TALKING POINTS on why MRTA and the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees oppose SCS SB 842.  Feel free to use and forward as you see fit.

Please write or call your Missouri State Senator.  Your State Senator can be found at www.mrta.org go to "WRITE YOUR LEGISLATORS" and enter your zip code.

SAMPLE LETTER  

Dear Senator XXXX

As a member of MRTA, a retired educator, taxpayer, and voter in your district, I respectfully ask you to oppose SCS SB 842 and vote NO when the bill comes up for debate.  This legislation is cumbersome and unneeded and ties the hands of the PSRS/PEERS retirement system's Board of Trustees.  Our retirement system has run efficiently and responsibly for 66 years without Missouri government micro-managing it.  The PSRS/PEERS system is over 85% prefunded after two economic downturns in ten years.  This is proof that this legislation is not needed nor warranted.  Thank you for your consideration.  I look forward to your response and to you opposing SCS SB 842.

Name

Street address

City, State, zip code

REPORT:

The Senate Veterans' Affairs, Emerging Issues, Pensions and Urban Affairs Committee, chaired by Senator Jason Crowell, voted to approve a Senate Committee Substitute (SCS) version of SB 842 (Senator Lamping) in executive session on March 21.  The committee approved the bill by a 4-2 vote, with Senators Pearce and Wright-Jones voting against the bill.  The bill would enact into permanent statute provisions similar to the Funding Stabilization Policy adopted last year by the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees.  SCS SB 842 will freeze our COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) at 2% for 30 years!!  If this bill becomes law, it will eliminate any chance of getting our full COLA reinstated without going back to the Legislature and begging.  The bill also freezes the PSRS and PEERS contribution rates at current levels until the system becomes 100 percent funded and allows little relief and few options for the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees in case of another economic downturn.

MRTA supports the PSRS/PEERS Board's independent fiduciary responsibilities that have been so successful for 66 years.  Senator Lamping, Senator Crowell, and Senator Engler's attempt in enacting the specific provisions of the Funding Stabilization Policy into a permanent statute is both cumbersome and not needed.  MRTA believes the legislature should leave this decision-making at the PSRS-PEERS Board level so that it can more easily adapt to changing conditions, if necessary. 

This legislation could also become the vehicle for other detrimental legislation for education retirees such as a State Investment Board/Company, privatization of our system by creating a 401k type retirement for new hires, a second tier plan, etc.  It is imperative that every MRTA member write their Senator and be prepared to contact their State Representative at a later date.  Please have your family, colleagues and acquaintances write their state senator.

Out-of-state MRTA members should write President Pro Tem Robert Mayer rob.mayer@senate.mo.gov

 

Thank you for being counted as a member of MRTA. Your membership will make a difference in the lives of many.MRTA is the Association of Retired Education Professionals and Missouri's Public Pension Experts!

Sincerely,

Jim Kreider
MRTA Executive Director
mrtadirectorkreider@mrta.org

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