Changes to school retirement among legislative goals

Changing the retirement health benefits of school employees is one of the legislative goals House Republicans have set for this year.

House Speaker Jase Bolger has said that the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System has a huge unfunded obligation that needs to be capped so more dollars can be put into classrooms. Bolger is looking at the changes made to the state employee’s retirement system as a model.

Bolger would also like to reduce school districts’ contributions into the system. For fiscal year 2011, the retirement contribution rate for employees hired before July 201 is 20.66 percent and 19.16 percent for those hired after July 2010, but Bolger would like to see that rate below 20 percent.