In Director Kreider’s 27 years of experience and involvement with the Missouri legislature, he has not seen legislation as dangerous as this to our pension benefits and pension system to-date.
UPDATE: HB 864 was not EVEN assigned to a committee! Thanks to YOU we have SQUASHED this legislation. Please stay tuned as the target will still be on us in 2020.
HB 864 is a bill targeting educator pensions. Creating an “OPTION for all educators to get into a 401(k) plan. This is targeted to NEW HIRES. This is Sinquefield/Show Me Institute model legislation Introduced by none other than my own Representative Jered Taylor of Nixa. The PSRS/PEERS Systems are having the actuaries look at the bill. To put it simply: No money, no pensions. HB 864 will take away employee and employer contributions (currently 29% of payroll) from the system by allowing educators to OPT OUT the current system and into a 401(k). This will lower the amount of dollars for investment. Currently, 61 cents of every dollar paid to retirees comes from investment returns. Representative Taylor is using Show-Me Institute talking points and therefore is misinformed on how a Defined Benefits plan works. HB 864 is an attack on public education and educators.
If this type of legislation is passed it WILL:
1. Eventually, bankrupt our system. The system would run out of money in about 25 years. Fewer contributions will be paid into the system for investments which are needed to pay benefits. The average retiree uses the amount they contributed in less than 6 years!!
2. Immediately eliminate any future COLAs.
3. Likely result in benefit reductions by possibly 25% or more for current retirees.
4. Cause drastic increases in the contribution percentage paid by active vested educators Currently, they are paying 14.5%. This will be necessary to try to stretch benefits into the future. How much will active educators be willing to pay?
COMMENT: MRTA strongly opposes any legislation like HB 864 as it threatens pension benefits educators have worked so hard for. 401(k)s have been described as a “failed experiment.” Only 40% of Americans have any retirement savings. 401(k)s are at the mercy of the stock market. Do you feel lucky?! 401(k)s can be raided by individuals as life creates needs for cash. To be simply put 401(k)s do NOT offer retirement security. Our pension plan does! Our defined benefit system pays you until you pass. Now that is retirement security! But it takes everyone to participate. HB 864 was designed to divide and conquer us!
OUR job is to convince our own Missouri State Representative and State Senator to oppose this type of legislation. Stay vigilant in 2020. Educate your friends and family now. Ask someone to join MRTA today – “Strength in Numbers!” Legislation like HB 864 threatens our pension system and our pension benefits. Just leave us alone!
Please see recent articles regarding HB 864 and Representative Taylor:
Springfield News Leader Article Jered Taylor Comments – Feb. 15, 2019
Springfield News Leader Article Jered Taylor Comments – March 20, 2019