MRTA’s Legislative Issues of Importance

Click the following link for a printable version Issues of Importance – End of Session Report – May 12, 2017

ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

KILLED PRIORITY – MRTA opposes SB 228 (Koenig R-15). Establishes a hybrid retirement plan and requires all new members of the plan to participate in the Defined Contribution Plan (DC) for MOSERS, state employees and elected officials.  This does not include educators at this time.  It is only one amendment away if this bill is not stopped.  KILLED!

KILLED – PRIORITY – MRTA opposes SS#2/SCS/SB 313 (Koenig R- 15). These are voucher schemes putting scare tax dollars into private institutions. This legislation will take $50 million from public schools. Passed by the Senate – in the House for Debate.

KILLED – PRIORITY – MRTA opposes SB 141 (Emery R-31).  This act provides that statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly serving for the first time on or after January 1, 2018, shall participate in a 401(k) defined contribution plan instead of the current defined benefit plan.  On Senate calendar for debate.

KILLED – PRIORITY – MRTA opposes HCS/HB 634 (Roeber R-34). This legislation allows charter schools in all first-class counties in the state affecting 70% of Missouri’s population.  Passed by the House on 3/16.  Currently in Senate Committee.

PASSED PRIORITY MRTA supports HB 304 (Pike R- 126) and SB 394 (Romine R-3). This legislation is an MRTA priority and allows pension benefits to “POP UP” after a divorce with the ruling on assets by a court. The bill also allows an extension from 90 days to one year for a retiree to add a beneficiary if remarries. Amended to CCS/HCS/SS/SB62 and PASSED, on Governor’s desk for signature!

PASSED – PRIORITY – MRTA supports HB 305 (Pike R-126) and SB 441 (Hegeman R-12). This legislation is an MRTA priority that closes the “Kelly Services” loophole requiring every retiree and school district statewide to follow the 550 hour Work After Retirement (WAR) law. Amended to CCS/HCS/SS/SB62 and PASSED, on Governor’s desk for signature!

PRIORITY – MRTA supports HB 891 (Cookson R-153).  This legislation mandates a 2% COLA for PSRS/PEERS retirees if the CPI is between 0% and 5%.  If the CPI is over 5% the COLA will be 5%. This mirrors the 2011 PSRS/PEERS Stabilization Policy. No action was taken.

 PRIORITY – MRTA supports HB 755 (Cookson R-153). This legislation allows for the salaries of PSRS-PEERS employees to be public record. Currently, PSRS PEERS is the only system in Missouri where they are not public record. No action was taken.

PRIORITY – MRTA opposes HB 619 (Dogan R-98) and SB 409 (Koenig R-15). This legislation changes and lowers the retirement benefits of active Saint Louis City educators at the same time raising their contributions to the system. This would set an extremely bad precedent for all Defined Benefit Plans in Missouri in that the promise when you were hired could be broken. MRTA proposed a solution which was adopted. Passed.

 PASSED PRIORITY – MRTA supports full funding of the Foundation Formula and opposes the use of public tax dollars for private schools. The Missouri Constitution mandates adequate funding of K-12 education through HB 2 which requires education funding as the second priority of state expenditures.  The Public School Foundation Formula is currently underfunded by at least $50 million dollars.  This is particularly troublesome for rural schools and inner city schools because a high percentage of their funding comes from the state. Full Funding of the current Formula PASSED, on Governor’s desk for signature!

 

25 thoughts on “MRTA’s Legislative Issues of Importance

  1. I am very disappointed in that my COLA only increased $1.65 this year. Please include me on any and all objections to the policies used to thwart the efforts of our association. I continue to oppose the actions of Rex Sinquefield who doe not have the well-being of our teachers and educators in mind. Thank you for your efforts on my behalf.

  2. I am very much against going back to the 550 rule. I substitute through Kelly approx ten days a month. This is a much needed supplement to my retirement especially with no COLA and reduced social security.

    • The way I understand the “Kelly Services” legislation, is that, in theory a retired educator or administrator could work full time in a school district when hired by Kelly. That individual would be able to draw full retirement benefits plus a full time salary and neither the individual nor the district would pay in to the retirement system. This “loophole hurts the PSRS system.

    • I totally agree with you. MO teachers already have an inequitable salary and pension distribution state-wide. Stealing a good part of our SS benefits and now further limiting teachers’ ability to work within MO after retirement adds insult to injury.

    • I am 100% in favor of this. My husband worked from age 16 to his death at age 55; and all I got was $255, Missouri’s death benefit. I am all alone, and it is difficult living on just my retirement.

    • Absolutely! What my husband paid in should be mine should he pass away before me. I have had many people tell me that are not familiar with this law that it just can’t be true because “that’s just not fair” , my response, “it is not fair but that is the way it is!”

    • I totally agree that the Social Security for retirees should be changed to match the spouse’s, if higher, as it does for all Social Security recipients.

    • I agree whole heartedly! If I had been a stay at home parent I would be entitled to my husbands social security but because I chose to educate children I’m punished!

    • I get $105 from Social Security without a raise in 17 yrs. If my husband passes away. I receive none of his SS nor his retirement. I also gets a low Teachers retirement because I only had a B.S.in ED. much like and older retiree.

      • I agree. If younger teachers realized how they would be stripped of benefits, they would leave this state & teach where they are appreciated not punished for being in the classroom.

  3. I do not support any legislation that reduces benefits for retired teachers.I do not support the efforts of Rex Sinquefeld to take our retirement fund and use the money elsewhere. I oppose the 550 rule because retired teachers need the money especially when colas have been frozen for the next five years. Why did the committee that made the decision to freeze colas receive one for themselves? I receive my retirement benefit only and no social security. Every dollar is needed for monthly expenses. Thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of retired educators.

  4. If the 550 rule is passed, one could not even work one day a week for a school year. I want to work in my chosen profession.

    • Jo, That is not correct. You can work 38% of a 175 school year and stay under 550 limit. And I am using 8 hours a day. If school counts school day as less hours you can work that many more days.

  5. I have a question about this section of HB 304:
    Any person receiving a retirement allowance under sections 169.010 to 169.140
    20 who elected a reduced retirement allowance under subsection 3 of section 169.070 with his
    21 or her spouse as the nominated beneficiary may have the retirement allowance increased
    22 to the amount the retired member would be receiving had the retired member elected
    23 option 1 if:
    24 (1) The marriage of the retired person and the nominated spouse is dissolved on or
    25 after September 1, 2017;

    In line 24 & 25 am I reading that anyone who has gotten a divorce BEFORE September 1, 2017 does not get to pop back up??? This is only beneficial to people who haven’t even gotten divorced yet?.

  6. Let’s hope if any of the bills sponsored by Senators Koenig and Emery are defeated. If they are passed I would hope our new governor (who has stated that he supports public education) would veto their bills which hurt retirees and all of our states public schools. Both of these men are in the back pocket of billionaire Rex Sinkquefeld. Unfortunately Sen. Emery is my senator. His friend and donor, Rex Sinquefeld,, has bought the Missouri legislature to where there is a large majority of Republicans who can override any veto.
    I am a lifelong Republican who feels that a huge majority of either party is a bad and dangerous situation. I will be voting Democrat until that situation in our legislature is more, balanced. Who knows, I may be a convert.

  7. someone that is retired and has recently joined social security please answer…about what percent do you draw from what you SHOULD get? i had heard 33%

  8. It is my understanding retirees cannot work more than 550 hours in a public school system without jeopardizing pension benefits. If regular COLAs cannot be counted on, then retirees should be free to work as many hours in the public schools as they wish. After dedicating our lives to educating and loving the children in Missouri schools, we should NOT be worrying about how we will make ends meet!

  9. I am also a widow who does not draw any SS benefit from my husband. All I got was the $255 death benefit. He worked from the time he was 17 until he was 75. This is so unfair and absolutely outrageous. It is just another way to cheat teachers. They can call it double dipping, but the truth is my husband paid it in. It is owed!!

  10. I am sorry to say that EMery is also my senator. I think he will be a senator forever—it seems like he as been in that position. We have discussed the defined vs contribution plan numerous times. He will not budge from his ideas because there are too many dollar signs before his eyes! Also the voucher plan he wants would create an elitist educational system. If you can afford to send your child (with the help of state funds) to a private school, who does that leave? And I am sure those left will be left with less than motivated teachers whose salary will not match that of the private school. Public schools are required to take all children, where as a private school may find an excuse to choose which students they want.
    Mr. Emery needs to go and not to the U.S. senate!
    I also asked him what interest would Rex S. have in giving a hundred thousand in some one’s campaign chest in southwest MO? His answer, “We have the same ideals”. Oh, Yeah you do and it is decorated with dollar signs.

  11. In response to Randall’s question, I worked as a secretary in the 60s, prior to becoming an educator in the 70s. My full social security benefit would be about $300 plus. I clear about $150. Sorry I can’t give you the exact amounts. I’m being penalized because I decided to become an educator.
    Go figure!!!

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