Pew Trust and the Laura and John Arnold Trust are in Missouri and they have their sights set on your pension. They have hired three lobbyists who have been actively working in Jefferson City to change Missouri’s educator retirement fund from a Defined Benefit Plan (DB) to a Defined Contribution Plan (DC). We must be vigilant!
Meredith Williams, the Executive Director of the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR), was recently quoted as saying, “If Pew and the Arnold Foundation come knocking on your state’s door, offering their so called “objective” assistance in reforming pensions, I hope these experiences in Alabama and Kentucky will be used to show your legislators what is really going on.”
Pew and the Arnold Foundation have been successful in Kentucky, the Kentucky Legislature adopted a cash balance approach in lieu of the DB plan in 2013. Tom Krebs of the Alabama Media Group (AL.com) reports that, “The Laura and John Arnold Foundation and their surrogates, including the Pew Charitable Trusts, have tried over the last two years to convert the Retirement Systems of Alabama’s defined benefit approach to a cash balance plan as part of a ‘nationwide crusade against public pension funds.’ The Alabama Legislature seemingly is bound and determined to hand over Alabama’s pension funds of $32 billion to the same Wall Street firms that brought us the financial crisis of 2008.” Krebs goes on to say that the legislature is acting in reliance on, “…volunteered and tainted ‘research reports’ from the Pew Charitable Trusts” among others. This is an attempt, in Krebs’ opinion, “…to gain access to bribes, kickbacks, influence peddling, campaign contributions and pork barrel politics.”
Comments from MRTA Executive Director Kreider:
Emboldened after the 2016 elections Michigan lawmakers pushed to move public educators from a DB plan to a DC plan in a lameduck session of the legislature, they were not successful due to policemen and firemen joining forces with educators to oppose the legislation. Are we strong enough to defend our pension system from these types of attacks? The world is run by those who show up! Show up with MRTA!