Petition to the Governor of Missouri Regarding PSRS/PEERS Board

UPDATE: Thanks to your calls, emails, and letters Governor Nixon has removed Wayne Wheeler from the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees and made two “recess” appointments.  These appointments will only be valid until January 2017, at that time we will need to compel the next Missouri Governor to make new appointments because the Senate likely will not confirm Governor Nixon’s “recess” appointments. This petition will be a tool to convince the new governor to make the new appointments a priority with the advice and counsel of MRTA.

Please sign our petition!
Petition Coverletter
Petition Signature Page

 

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161 thoughts on “Petition to the Governor of Missouri Regarding PSRS/PEERS Board

  1. You know, it’s bad enough that we can’t collect Social Security, which we had no choice but to pay into when we worked our way through college, and worked 10 years after retiring….we were forced to pay into SS, and can’t collect it. AND NOW WE GET NO COST OF LIVING INCREASE? HAVE YOU SEEN THE PRICE OF BREAD? OF CHICKEN?
    GROSSLY UNFAIR. Retired teachers’ lives MATTER.

    • You CAN get social security if you work somewhere else (like summers) in between teaching school years if you have 4 quarters.
      I taught 30 years (worked in a bank in the summers, etc). I don’t get much SS but I get some. Check it out.

        • We should be able to collect FULL benefits on what we paid in before teaching. I worked 20 years in business and will only be able to collect partial benefits. I paid in the money, it is not entitlement; it’s mine. I have 3 brothers who worked in auto manufacturing and retired with great benefits. When they hit 65, I don’t think they didn’t have to a reduced as benefit.

        • Glenda has it right. We only get a portion of what we otherwise would be entitled to. Also, you don’t get spouse benefits. Big rip-off!

      • Qualified for over $400 monthly, but since I get a teacher’s pension I can only receive $150 ss payout. I don’t consider that fair since I earned that amount from working before teaching.

        • That certainly doesn’t make sense. I was told I would receive $400 a month. I receive $380 which isn’t much less. Why are they doing that to you?

        • I qualified for MUCH more Han the $82/month I started with last year. LUDICROUS that just because my pension is good that I cannot benefit from the dollars I PUT IN TO SOCIAL SECURITY!!

          • Not only did i get a reduction of social security at $77 a month
            It isnt enough to pay the 104$ medicare payment so i got a letter stating i have a penalty so now pay 122 a month for medicare and have to pay $550 out of pocket after they take the 77 dollars. It is a DOUBLe penalty!!

        • You can collect Social Security benefits though the benefits will be reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)because you are collecting a public pension for which Social Security taxes were not withheld.

        • Hi,

          I worked as a CPA prior to turning to teaching 15 years ago. I receive a social security statement that reflects a reduced amount I receive that every retirement person I have consulted with agrees I will receive when I retire. You might check that statement and or the social security administration.

        • Yes, it seems there is a lack of equity, when as a wife, I cannot collect the SS of my husband without it being deducted from my teacher retirement. Because I taught, only half of the SS due me will be paid. Somehow, something is awry here.

          • I agree. I receive less than I third of what I am eligible for from Social Security. I taught part time and couldn’t be in PSRS and now am being penalized more than $600 a month for that.

        • Have you checked that out? Who told you many times? I worked for KCMO (who pays into SS) and I get both their retirement and SS…I also taught outstate MO and still have both SS and MRTA retirement plus KCMO…
          retirement…if your system didn’t pay into the SS system you aren’t eligible for SS…

          • You are getting SS because your school district withdrew it from your income and paid into SS. However, if your school district did not collect SS you are penalized for any SS you earned outside of teaching. I worked for several years in the private sector earning 40 quarters, but I can only draw half of what I am eligible to draw. That means I draw $150.00 a month from social security.

        • That is what many think, but talk to the PSRS people. I have. If you’ve worked 40 quarters you can collect some of it.

        • Brenda, I’ve the same situation. I can’t draw on my spouse either.
          Really gets me that I need some extra coming in and SS gets their cut, but I don’t. Need to get something done on the WEP and get that guy off the PSRS/PEERS board and someone on who will speak for us, not make motions that are detrimental to us.

        • You can collect SS. It is reduced by 60%,I was to collect $180.00 per month and received $78. per month for a while. I have continued to sub and work under SS and it is now about $125.00 before Medicare.

      • I get $70 a month for SS after they take out my basic medicare payment. I worked from 16-25, then some the next 30 years (summer school, etc) Then I worked another 10 years after retirement

      • So do I but it’s such a small amount I forget I even get it. It will buy my gas for a week but nothing else. Ridiculous!!!

      • Sure I get under $200 a month from social security due to the fact I have retirement income from PSRS. I worked far more quarters than needed.

      • SS keeps 2/3 of whatever you earn, even though you paid in to the system, it will never give you back what you should be getting. They claim it is fair because we earn a retirement from PEERS. But, it was OUR MONEY to begin with, so, in a sense, they have stolen from us. So, yes, you can get “some” of your own money back, but certainly not much.

      • But, Debbi, we worked for SS, just like we contributed to our PSRS, but get nothing from SS. This is something that was put in the original PSRS benefit plan back in the 40’s and we are still living with it. Times and economy have changed. COL raises, COLA then needs to as well right along with it and consideration given to the fact that we have funded SS as well.

      • They keep 2/3 of what you should be getting. In effect, they keep 2/3 of the money you put in, worked for, etc. Seems illegal to me. But, there you are.

    • Before coming to MO, I taught six years in California and paid into social security. During my teaching tenure in MO, I sold real estate to earn more credits. I also worked a variety of jobs while in college. When I retired, after 20 years teaching in MO, I applied for social security benefits and was told they would be offset. My current take home social security income is $39.00 per month. I was told that if my husband dies I will receive none of his social security benefit. Now my future income is in jeopardy

    • I acquired my 40 quarters many years before I retired but kept on adding to them through summer jobs I worked during summer vacation. I put my papers in for soc. security immediately after I retired. My soc. security allotment was to be around $600.00 per month but when I filled out my request to draw it, I was told it would be around $300.00 a month because of this new Windfall Exclusion Act. I missed full soc. security by 6 months.

      • Windfall penalty does not apply to Missouri state or Federal employees. I know some close to me that gets 5 checks per month, two of which are Missouri state worker related. They did not self fund their retirement like we do in PSRS

    • I have paid into SS since retiring in 1995 and working in Real Estate. I have to pay both sides and yet it is reduced since I draw teacher retirement. Just not fair.

    • I have 19.5 years of non teaching employment, 14 of which where with the Federal Govt. I am entering my 14th year as an educator. I decided last winter on a snow day from school to go straight to the source and find out what the WEP was all about. When I visited my local social security office to find out the details I was questioned by the representative as to why I was so worried about it since I had such a stable retirement with PSRS. My reply was because I had earned it. That’s the part no one seems to understand. Personally I believe if you’ve done the time then your do the benefit, and it’s time to take it (social security) back.

      Off the soap box and here’s the findings. Basically you get about one third of what your eligibile for, for every 40 quarters you put in. In my case of 19.5 years I actually have to acquire a total of 22 years to get about 60 % of what I am eligible. Your local social security office has a real nice print out available if you need to raise your blood pressure a bit. When I run the numbers I’d be better off to work my 550 in retirement and buy lottery tickets with it.

      • Exactly correct!
        My question is, why is this even legal?
        If SS isn’t going to return what we put in, we should not be forced to contribute. That is stealing. Plain and simple.

      • Sorry Rocky, but you’re obviously not really hearing the issue. We shouldn’t get “some of it”. We should get everything we earned – like anyone else. Many of us worked for 20+ years before become a teacher. We’ve earned this. We paid our fair share. People who were “stay at home moms” for their entire lives collect SS without ever paying in. Why shouldn’t we get what we contributed? Additionally, we can’t get our spousal benefits! My husband isn’t a teacher. It’s not like I’ll be collecting his PSRS benefits when he’s gone. How do they justify taking away my spousal benefits. “Some of it”… $18/month, $32/month, even $300/month is not going to pay the bills. We’re being punished for not making crap during our career, and educating the future. That makes sense.

    • I am the wife of a recently retired custodian whose retirement is also with PEERS. You need to do more research on Social Security. Everything I have read says SS will more than likely not receive a raise
      either. Apparently, SSA doesn’t feel
      the future is terribly bright for SS
      either and appeared to suggest to me that if I could, I should consider retirement at 62. Each one of us would have to look at a number of factors as our personal debt ratio, do we have a mortgage, and any other negative factors that affect our retirement. I suggest you attend SS
      Seminars that are offered around the area free of charge and do a lot more reading instead of relying on your feelings which could cause you harm in the future. Better yet, make an appointment with SS to talk with people who know the ins and outs of SS because of changes within the system. I encourage you to take your time to make your decision. Peace and Joy to you!

  2. I support the position of MRTA regarding the removal of Wayne Wheeler from the teacher retirement board. Both I and my husband, two of my sons, and a daughter-in-law are retired educators (or soon to be retired). The strong retirement program that is in place in Missouri has been extremely positive in recruiting and retaining excellent teachers for our schools. Don’t let it go.

  3. s a widowMany of us as retirees need to have the COLA adjustment as significant medical costs affect us as well as other increases in living expenses. Since we are limited in the amount of our Social Security benefits we are allowed to collect, the pension COLA occasionally covers the increase in medical premiums each year with increased co-pays on prescriptions. As a widow I need the Cola adjustments each year for sufficient income to pay my expenses needed to survive.
    Thank you for considering my request which also affects many other retired educators.

  4. Retired teachers have given so much of their lives already. As a retired teacher for 9 years and now substitute teacher, I make so little and the cost of my insurance continues to rise along with everything else. When will teachers lives matter? This is a disgrace.

  5. Retired Teachers paid into the retirement system and their districts matched their contributions. They were promised a yearly COLA increase to keep up with the increase in living expenses. I find it very discouraging to learn we won’t be getting an increase in the future.

    • I agree 100%. This was the agreement we thought we had in good faith with the PSRS. Does this mean their word means nothing? We need to get the names of all of the ones that voted to do this and then we need to replace them as soon as we can or we will be getting our “fat” retirement reduced.

      • You bet we need the SS for retirement. As a cancer survivor most of the savings is gone. No COLA! This is ridiculous. I taught 38 years and did volunteer work for about the same amount of time so it’s not that I haven’t given a lot of time to kids and parents. So let’s take a long slow look and cut something that has spent very little time actually working.

  6. This unnecessary step really hurts a segment of our society that needs to keep up with the growth of prices in our economy. The services of teachers go unnoticed and interacted.The very least that we c a n do for them is to allow them a few comforts in their remaining years.

  7. My out of pocket premium for my health insurance in my 5 years of retirement has gone from $360 to $480 per month. Yet the board sees no reason to approve a COLA? What gives?

  8. I support the MRTA petition to remove Wayne Wheeler as the current retiree representative. Wayne Wheeler is not representing me a Mo. teacher retiree by removing our 2% COLA when the CPI is 2% or below.

    I would like a new representative appointed in Mr. Wheeler’ expired seat that he is filling as soon as possible. Thank you, Governor Nixon for your consideration and support of MRTA. Betty L. Shell

  9. Financial reports from PSRS indicate that a COLA is a very manageable policy to follow, it was already established by the PSRS Board to stabilize the fund balances. A change in the Board’s policy certainly has not been adequately explained to members. This has been a very strange turn of events form the outstanding service provided to members by PSRS in the past. DISAPPOINTING!

  10. We need someone on the retiree board who represents the interests of retired teachers. We are already discriminated against by not being able to draw the full amount of the Social Security we have paid in. We rely on the guaranteed COLA to get us through. This is an outrage to deny teachers the retirement they deserve and have worked for.

  11. The past board promised when they limited the COLA increase to a maximum of 2% that we would get it. We can’t draw Social Security and my insurance on home, vehicles, etc. has gone up 40% in two year, utilities have gone up 50% in 4 years(and Ameren is applying for another rate increase as of yesterday). The two percent a year doesn’t even come close to keeping up with inflation.

  12. The 2% COLA is a modest increase. Twice this year I have refused to fill prescribed medications because they would have been almost $200 each. Medical costs alone would qualify us for a 2% increase. Please remove Wayne Wheeler from the board.

  13. It was bad enough that we had been told we would only get a 2% COLA with a 0-5% CPI and now to get nothing at all is a real slap in the face.

  14. Most of us teachers spent a lot of our own money for supplies that we needed but were not provided for us, in spite of the fact that teacher salaries have always been too low. I, and other teachers, regularly spent a couple of extra hours every day taking care of classroom needs. We don’t deserve this drop in income.

  15. We fought for fair salaries while working and now we have to do it in retirement. I feel this is the first nail in the coffin to eliminate the present investment model. I didn’t know this was happening till it was a done deal. Roger is correct, 2% isn’t close to actual cost of living expenses but it’s better than nothing and better than retirement systems in other states. This cannot stand!

  16. I wonder what kind of retirement benefits the voters will get themselves? We should be kept informed and fight this tooth and nail.

    • I would like to see a complete accounting, from the Governor down to the MRTA Board stating their income, benefits and retirement policies. Full disclosure.

      I know, but others might not know the answer to this: How many years do Senators, Representatives and Board members have to serve to get THEIR full lifetime benefits, without a cap on it. Mr Wheeler, please answer these question questions.

      Next, Mr Wheeler what qualified you to be appointed to the MRTA/PEERS Board? Kindly recuse yourself from being our voice on the Board. I do not feel you have Retired Teachers best interests as a priority as evidenced by voting to deny retired Educators a 2% COLA. I sincerely doubt anyone of the officials, afore mentioned, vote themselves hefty raises. While those of us who taught each of you are treated shamefully, in my opinion.

  17. As I understand it we were promised a Cola increase to keep up with cost of living increases and out of the blue, this policy is being subverted without much transparency as to why and why now. This needs looking into. Teachers count on thir pension and on keeping up with higher cost of living which is certainly more than 2%. And don’t forget many teachers have had to g ive up Social Securilty benefits they earned. Something is wrong here.

  18. If there is no reason for this. Who decided it was to be without our consent. We need more info on these people who are put on the board. Names mean nothing and I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a clue whom I’m voting for….This should never happen again

  19. We need better representation. This is not fair. I can hardly keep up with the increases in prices of medical and grocery as it is.

  20. Signing on behalf of my mom–retired teacher–who relies on my dad’s–also a retired teacher at MSU–retirement earning while she is in assisted living with dementia.

  21. I support the MRTA petition to remove Wayne Wheeler as the current retiree representative. Wayne Wheeler is not representing me a Mo. teacher retiree by removing our 2% COLA when the CPI is 2% or below.

    I would like a new representative appointed in Mr. Wheeler’ expired seat that he is filling as soon as possible. Thank you, Governor Nixon for your consideration and support of MRTA.

  22. What we need to do is go to the next board meeting like we do the Legislative Day. Maybe seeing who they’re hurting might make some difference.

  23. We need someone to represent us who understands the needs of retired teachers. Wayne Wherler in not the person to represent the issues we face. Please replace him with someone who is willing to learn and support our issues.

  24. This is yet another attack on the middle class, a rapidly shrinking segment of the American population. The middle class drives this country’s economy, and denying them a COLA will ultimately hurt US markets. This is also yet another attack on teachers, and it’s incredibly hurtful, both emotionally and financially.

  25. None of us are getting younger but the price of health insurance and medicine is going up as well as every day necessary items. Please consider the needs of teachers who have given so much for the future knowledge of this countries citizens.

  26. Even though I have had another career after retiring from teaching and have paid in all my quarters and a lot more to SS, I can still draw very little. I find this all very frustrating.

  27. I join with my retired colleagues in the issue of providing no COLA for next year. Our expenses continue to climb; health insurance was raised in January and is a significant expense for senior citizens. I would ask that the seat occupied by Wayne Wheeler be filled since he sits in an expired seat. We need board members who have a background in education and understand the needs of retirees. I ask that you fill this seat as soon as possible.

  28. I support the MRTA petition to remove Mr. Wayne Wheeler as the current retiree rep. Better representation, supportive of the needs of retired teachers, is needed immediately. My insurance premiums are over $580.00 per month through my school district. Research into comparable policies fare no better in terms of coverage and cost. ( Believe me – I have exhausted numerous hours looking into it! ). With the cost of living continuing to rise, the COLA is very much needed.. I was not aware of the change in the Board’s policy. I agree with Carletta that we need more information about the people who are put on the Board. Names mean nothing. If this becomes the norm, we will continue losing competent teachers and teacher candidates.

  29. When COLA increases appear, so do raises in health insurance.
    It is going to be a real problem to meet expenses when we teachers receive no COLA. It is imparitive that this decision is reversed.

  30. I retired 1 year ago after 20 years of school service. I am a certified teacher who had some retirement potential cut when I had to start contributing to Social Security because I was certified hired in a non-certified position. Now I won’t get my first COLA? Unacceptable!

  31. Let me get this straight..we have 32 billion and it costs about 0.5 billion to give a 2 percent raise to everyone….ridiculous!

  32. Insurance, utilities, groceries, & everything else has increased immensely ! If we don’t get our cost of living increase, we will be living in the poor house. Why can’t you leave a program that is working alone.

  33. Dear Governor Nixon,
    We retired teachers do not receive social security and must depend on COLA when financially possible.
    Your help and consideration is deeply appreciated.

  34. This is a real slap in the face to those who have educated the current and future leaders of our county. We can’t get our spouses social security and only a fraction of our own. Where is the loyalty for those who gave so much to the children of Missouri? The rising medical costs is more than the 2% but a little is better than nothing.

  35. Dear Governor Nixon,

    Wayne Wheeler has not represented the wishes of Missouri teachers by allowing the 2% COLA to be reduced to 0% with no sign of being restored in the near future. The substantial membership of MRTA had delivered a letter of opposition which he ignored. That is not representation!

    Teachers who worked outside the public educational system paid into social security and are already being penalized by not being allowed full benefits from that. Insurance especially is a big increase each year. The 2% COLA is needed and I understand the funds are in good shape to support this increase.

    I support the MRTA petition to remove Mr. Wheeler as a retiree representative on the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees. The now vacant citizen seat on that board also needs to be filled immediately.

    I would appreciate your consideration and action to make this situation more supportive of people who have dedicated their lives to education.

    Sincerely,

  36. Missouri teacher retirees are important and their many gifts and sacrifices to the profession were important and have made a difference in lives. Please reconsider the COLA decision, moving to assist in making these dedicated people’s lives comfortable in their later years, as health and elderly care costs escalate.
    Our lives matter.

  37. Mr Wheeler is executive director Yoakum’s pawn. He only votes as directed by Yoakum. Both are not friends to retirees.

  38. I support the removal of Wayne Wheeler from the Teacher Retirement Board. He does not represent the salient views of retired teachers. I implore the retention of the yearly 2% COLA increase for retired teachers due to yearly increases in the cost of living and medical insurance. Please do not deny our retired teachers the 2% COLA benefits that they have so justly earned and deserve for their service to the students and communities of Missouri.

  39. Please hear the clamor of all the retired MO educators. Wayne Wheeler is not a sincere advocate for retirees’ interests and must be removed. I began working at the age of 16 and I lost most of my social security to 8 years of working as a certified MO educator. No one warned me of such trick devastating to my financial future. That loss angers and sadens me; now supression of the cola for 2017 adds insult to injury. Please reinstate PSRS cola. Thank you.

  40. After 32 years in the system, I’m needing to work to cover rising health insurance cost. Health Care cost eat up a very large percentage of my retirement. This is very sad. Since I’m now living out of Missouri to be near my children, guessing my “signature” might not count? But hope so!

  41. The actuarial studies indicate our funds are very solid and 2% in no way will negatively impact to even cause a ripple in the stability of the system we’ve worked so hard to establish for teachers who chose this career not for the money but because they cared for our country. Makes you wonder about this gentleman’s thought process. Even asking for 2% is embarrassingly trivial, and why in the world should we even be in this position. Governor, this should not even be a topic of conversation.
    Clean the area that needs to be cleaned, and do it promptly. What’s right is right.

  42. I believe in fiscal responsibility, but 0%? Groceries, insurance, copays, medicine. Good God, how are we supposed to make it. Especially if we are single and/or caring for someone. This is really an unfair decision.

  43. Missouri Teachers Retirement plan is so outstanding. I don’t understand about the COLA being discontinued when this step is not necessary. I am widowed and receive none of my husbands social security. I count on this COLA to partially fill the gap when cost of living continues to rise. This is totally unfair to the teachers who have faithfully served their school districts and the children therein.

    • He is not compensated for his service on the Board of Trustees. He does receive a retirement from PSRS/PEERS as he is a retired superintendent so he will also not get a COLA.

      • What a shame that a school employee voted down the COLA. Of course, as a superintendent his salary was considerably higher than a teacher salary so he can probably afford to take the hit.

  44. As MO. teachers, we should work on REPEALING: WEP & GPO. Please support HR 973 and S 1651. HR 711 (Kevin Brady-Ways and Means) has been postponed. Here’s my story: Husband died. Soc Security says MY future benefit will be slashed from $790 a mo. to $350….because of Windfall Elimination Program. Why? I earned the $790 when I was working and basically living in poverty as a teenager and young woman. MY DECEASED HUSBAND’S BENEFIT to me as a WIDOW….should be $2,000 per mo. But oh, no! The GOVERNMENT PENSION OFFSET steals the $2,000 and I get nothing! Why? My husband paid THOUSANDS into Soc Sec over his highly paid career. Who gets MY MONEY? I’m still putting a child through college. I can pay my monthly bills…but can’t really save any money for retirement. I NEVER KNEW about WEP & GPO until my husband died. UNFAIR! NOW I NEED INFO about the LAST 60 months EXEMPTION RULE for GPO. If I can work the last 60 months and pay FICA…I think…in the SAME RETIREMENT SYSTEM….I can get rid of GPO. DOES ANYONE HAVE INFO ABOUT THE 60 MO. EXEMPTION? I think I need to work till 65. Then work 60 more months in a PEERS job???? ALSO: What do you think about HILLARY CLINTON’S IDEA….ABOUT MEDICARE AT 55 ???

  45. Cost of everything else goes up, but we, who’ve paid in for years, are not to be given a COLA!?! Why do those whom we must trust feel that others don’t need a COLA?!? Please continue to make decisions that are sound.

  46. Yes, I agree with the position of MRTA, and the removal of Wayne Wheeler from the Board of Trustees. His term on the Board has expired anyway!

  47. I believe in the position MRTA has taken in this matter. Mr. Wayne Wheeler needs to be replaced on the Board. His term of office has already expired!

  48. I wonder if Wheeler has been “bought” by Rex Sinquefield?
    What other motivation could one have to do this to fellow educators?

  49. I would say Mr. Wheeler is not representing the MRTA members because he ignored their request and made the choice he wanted. He made the easiest choice not the best choice. Ms. Whetherford agreed with him as the best choice. If I were a retired NEA member, I would get rid of her as well. They are no support to the retired teachers. The retired teachers as well as the active teachers are all in this together. The active teachers will be members of MRTA one day too!

  50. How can a COLA formula be in place, and then for no apparent
    reason or justification or notice to the membership be changed?????
    THIS NEEDS TO BE REINSTATED NOW. Where is the concern shown for all the retired teachers faced with higher prices ?

  51. I worked for many years in a small rural school district. They needed me and my 6 certifications, including gifted and 2 world languages. Masters and 2+ degrees. The pensions of the rural teachers are already low due to lower incomes, and now my farming husband has lung cancer. He gets Soc. security but I cannot get spousal Ss benefits I have been told. I have NO one to depend on besides myself. Losing the COLA hurts as my Medicare contribution alone went up considerably. How can you do this to people?

  52. Pingback: Worst Case Scenario – No COLA for 30 Years | Missouri Retired Teachers Association

  53. Hold the Bus! No Board of Trusties should be allowed to Wreck the retirement of our MRTA . I am retired and came to the state of Missouri because there was a promise of a good retirement system. Now! I am trapped and being abused by a Board of Trustees who plan to ruin my retirement. Not fair, not just. Please get your act together and repeal what you have initiated. Cheers and God Bless, Roland Tullberg. Rertired and in need of what I have earned.

  54. I worked for 18 years before going to college and earning a teaching degree. I collect 1/3 of my SS benefit that I contributed. I chose to teach, a profession that is grossly underpaid in Missouri, because I wanted to contribute to society. Now I am being told that regardless of food prices and insurance premiums increases, I am not going to receive a COLA. I planned my retirement with a COLA included as promised. All of these board members need replacing with people who can keep their word.

  55. I cannot help but believe that our constant fight for fairness while employed teachers and fairness while now retired has a lot to do with the fact that the education system is largely a female dominated profession. The education required of us would have yielded us so much more monetarily in the business world. Yet we were made to feel her grateful for the meager “steps” on the ladder each year. Now each year we have to fight for what is rightfully ours. We are retired and the number of years of service should be respected and we shouldn’t have to be pawns of the board.

  56. Fellow teachers and retirees:
    Unfortunately, most of the legislators we have put in office couldn’t care less about how much time and money we have sacrificed educating the youth of Missouri. Most of them would probably classify us as “suckers” for our Herculean efforts. (Keep in mind that they receive their salary and health care benefits for the rest of their lives). At the present time there are only 15 STATES in the USA that think a teacher’s retirement pay is a “windfall”. Missouri is one of the states. My guess is that many of these 15 states pay their teachers much more that what Missouri teachers make. Many teachers, like myself, started their teaching careers at a later date and will not receive full SS benefits. I worked 19 years before I started teaching and 2 years after I retired (so far). Believe me, there is no “windfall” going on; except perhaps at the state capital.
    http://www.ssfairness.com/gpo-wep-faq/

  57. What is the deal here? I taught 30 years SS was cut! I served in the Mo. National Guard 31 years SS was cut! I have been retired 15 years and now you tell me my COLA is being cut through no fault of my own!! Maybe being too trusting on my part!!!! How do people get on this board anyway? Did Mr. Wheeler teach in the trenches with the rest of us to know what it is like? I doubt it. I am not asking for 2%; I am asking for 4% increase!! We settle for too little. Maybe we need another “red shirt day” in Jeff City at Mr. Wheeler’s office.

  58. This is not fair! We may need to have a new election. The retirement board is always bragging about they keep our savings safe now I see how.

  59. I do not receive social security, but I do pay for Medicare Part B. When the premiums rose this year, I was required to pay more. However, those who receive social security did not have to pay the increase because it would have resulted in their monthly social security going down.
    Now I will be getting no COLA and yet have to pay all the increased premiums for Medicare. I can’t believe the Board of Trustees did not go with the option to just have the COLAS be whatever the CPI rose up to the 2%. How unfair and what a step backward this is for all retirees!

  60. I’m disappointed that presently we have no Cola for 2017. We’re losing our income when the Cost of Living goes up and we don’t get help. I hope you will consider this matter and do what’s necessary to help in this matter

  61. I am in the same boat!!! I have over 40 quarters in SS and still have to pay for a portion of my medicare every year. Plus, I can not draw anything off of my ex-husband of 19 years. Again, simply because I am a retired school teacher in Mo. I taught 36 years, 35 of which were in Mo. I am single so it is tough. This isn’t fair since some people are able to draw off of several pension systems.

  62. Very discouraging news. I don’t expect to live to be 103 (30 years from now); however, even now I have to work in order to make ends meet. The COLA is nothing to the board but is big to us who hope for just a little change in what we received. It’s a poor way to say thanks to people who worked hard for little monetary reward anyway. I am praying something will change their mind.

  63. I believe in the position MRTA has taken in this matter. Mr. Wayne Wheeler needs to be replaced on the Board. His term of office has already expired!

  64. Missouri is one of 13 states that do not compensate teachers for SS. I receive $67 per month for SS, plus it pays my premium for Medicare. Since retiring eleven years ago I have substituted where I have SS withheld.This last year I developed a non-curable cancer, so am no longer able to work on a regular basis if at all. I am still receiving chemo and at the end of that process I will be having regular doctor’s visits along with frequent scans to make sure the cancer does not recure. So not only do I not receive my full SS benefits I will not receive COLA increases which at the time of retirement we were most definitely told we would receive in a fair manner. I definitely agree that Wayne Wheeler needs to be removed immediately from his position, that apparently, he has just appointed himself to. The cost of living is very high in comparison to other states. Our utilities are going up continually as well as taxes and medical costs, but our cost of living is going down according to Wayne Wheeler and the board of trustees. PLEASE DO SOMETHING TO CORRECT THIS UNFAIR ADJUSTMENT IN THE COLA.

    • If you have been working under SS since retirement, be sure that SS reviews your earnings. My Medicare was going up again, I did not agree with their decision, So, I went to my Representative Leutkemeyer, his aide read the letter and agreed. I signed a paper to allow them to look into the matter. SS had not reviewed my earnings for the past 2 years. I got a check for $591 and an increase in benefits. As long as your SS is $1 a month over your Medicare cost, they cannot raise your premium.

  65. I taught for 37 years Catholic and public shcools privarily in MO. I paid in to SS over 40 quarters, should receive $1,000 per month but receive $600.00. My MO state retirement is just $1400.00 a month – I paid in to SS as well, and it is not right that one negates the other! With mine and all these other comments I feel that this issue should be addressed by MRTA to our MO General Assembly…

  66. Several different items are being lumped together under one banner. They are not directly linked. First, decrease in ss benefits is a federal law situation and is not impacted by the retirement board. Has nothing to do with Missouri COLA. A federal issue, not state. Second, the 2% cola was put in place several years ago as a way to project future costs and stabilized the expenditures of the fund without having to calculate it each year. The cola was 2% for anything up to 5% and if it exceeded 5% then it would be recalculated for that specific year. They were “betting on the come” as poker players say. They hoped the rate would fall somewhere between 2 and 5 but would guarantee a 2% rate for each year. Over the past 8 years the average cpi is 1.6%. Over the last eight years our cola has gone up 2% per year for a total of 16%. The cpi total is 12.9%. In the last eight years there are only two years when the cpi has exceeded 2%. I hope the board is doing their due diligence in keepig the funds as stable as possible. If everyone things Wheeler should leave the board, so be it, but I believe the board IS working in the best interest of the retirement fund for our long term goals.
    Finally, all the bickering and whining plays intimately into the hands of all those people who want to “help us with our retirement plan issues.”
    Do NOT let any disappointment with the composition of the board be used as a statement about or satisfaction with our retirement system. Let others get involved in “managing” our system and we are a very short step from Chicago Teachers Organization, Detroit Public employee systems, and any number of other public employee retirement systems who are in trouble today. We elect our board members and have a say in who is on the board. If you let the legislature or the governor appoint your board members it will no longer be a “teacher retirement plan”. It will be a government owned, operated, and manipulated financial heyday for those who are placed in charge.

  67. So unfair, this was an agreement we were told we could count on, taking it away is criminal, try living on a pension with the cost of medical and medicine these days, not to mention food and bills, it all goes up, if you do this you will just have more knocking on your door for food stamps and help with energy bills etc. So not fair to anyone who works 30 to 40 years on a agreement then its taken away………Voting will change your jobs drastically if this goes into effect…

  68. It is very unfair for all members of the PSRS not to receive a cost of living as many retirees have contributed significantly to their retirement system. Why is this policy being enforced at this time? The PSRS Board cannot expect retired teachers to live with adequate retirement funds with no ilncrease in our retirement benefits.

  69. I HAD to retire early to care for my Mother. I bought up a couple of years and have worked part time until my Mother needed me home full time. I wasn’t expecting big cost of living raises. I want you to be fiscally responsible. But nothing? NOTHING! Where is the money, if it’s not going to those who earned it. If I need to tell you the sacrifice teachers make than you are really out of touch. Many of us are on our own, with only one income. I guess I won’t be able to live as long as I’d planned. After a life of service, when I can no longer afford to maintain myself, I guess I can always just blow my brains out. REMOVE WAYNE WHEELER IMMEDIATELY.

  70. Teachers need a COLA! Many of us are penalized already on our SS and our MO pension is our basic pension because of rules we had no choice in. I will lose 2/3 of my husband’s SS survivor pension if I survive him- dropping it from $1300to $300/month- as well as a good portion of my own earnings even though I had 25 years of substantial earnings in SS before teaching in MO for 12! So my total pensions/year will be about what a minimum wage worker gets, even though I have a master’s degree and taught 36 years. Provide a COLA, and work toward equity in SS!

  71. When I retired at 65, the last 5 years were considered for my retirement benefit. It included the 5 years where my salary was frozen every year. Teachers have constantly had to fight for each yearly contract. All the while the people, with money, want to take everything we have worked for by financially paying our legislators to get them to betray the teachers.
    Why do YOU keep doing this?

  72. A raise of 2% is not much. Seems strange we have to fight to hang onto our COLA. My insurance through the school district is $459.36 a month. I have 34 quarters and need 40 to be eligible for medicare. I do not think I should have to get a job at 75 to earn the additional quarters after completing 30 years of teaching in MO.

  73. Why does Jefferson City Legislature continue to get raises every year, but the retired teachers do not deserve a COLA???? On the Federal scene same thing. We are paying for the Congress-
    people to continue to get raises every year plus expenses, but it is harder for our young people to even get jobs now. They have no
    money for housing, raising a family,etc. I have read many times that the MO retirement system is close to the BEST system in the U. S. So there is no money all of a sudden for teacher COLAS after we paid nearly double into our retirement
    system for years of work???? Something is wrong.

  74. I am in the same boat as many of the other educators. I worked for many year before entering a classroom and I worked during the summer for employers who with held social security. I can not get my money back from the social security system and now the teacher retirement system that” pays teachers such a great retirement” is going to also with hold money that teachers earned. It’s not like we are looking for a hand out. We simply want to enjoy a quality of life that meets our needs.

  75. I’m disappointed in the professional leadership and the board at PSRS. They have done a fantastic job managing our money and a good job with communication. The problem is the philosophy of how retirees are treated. I would like to think they have an awesome respect for the retirees who have given careers for the education of Missourians. In my opinion all decisions, financial or otherwise, should be made with the up most respect for the retiree. Sincerely, Ron Crain

  76. I ditto all the coments on the SS, Right now I have a husband who is disabled and everything: housing, food, gas, insurance , utilities, keeps going up …We definitely need our cola and a new law banning the WEPand GPO…..sbell

  77. It seems as if no one, who is in control of retirees’ lives, gives a rip about the retirees. We were despised by many when we taught—many kids didn’t like us, parents were often not supportive, administrations were always on the fence, for fear of losing their jobs. I see, in our future, as well as the future of all older Americans, a day when we may be lined up alongside a trench, shot, thrown into the pit, covered with lye, and then the whole process repeated. Help us to enjoy some of “life after teaching.” Reinstate the COLA!

  78. Deplorable move by W. Wheeler. Wayne, where is your mother?
    I am glad to learn you have been removed from the Board. Your mother would have taught you better than to treat retirees with a no COLA vote and a 5 year review of such policy. Shame on you.

  79. The rule change should be voided since 2 of the people at the meeting acted as if they were board members but their terms had expired. So their votes should be discounted and not valid. Check Sunshine law for potential violations.

  80. I worked through high school and college and paid into SS and then taught in Mo one year and then in PA and then in a Catholic School where I Paid social security again. Back to Mo to teach and retire at 62 after 41 years. So I was supposed to get 1,000 a month SS and about the same In PSRS retirement. How much SS am I getting? 323.00 of my 1,000……how can they do this to us??????

  81. Children are our countries future. We must keep up with the times if we want good loyal teachers. It’s hard to recruit good teachers because of poor saleries, but if you add poor retirement benefits into the mix you are making it less attractive for good candidates to follow a teaching career.

  82. The MO retirement is a real plus in keeping and retaining good teachers in the state of MO. and the COLA is a big factor in that retirement. Please reinstate the COLA to our retirement. The effect of not having it is really devastating to our future retirees.

  83. In recent months, high fees and weak returns have prompted some major public pension funds to move to end their investments with external money managers. At the same time, IBT/MapLight’s review — which used Center for Responsive Politics data and focused on donors who gave more than $50,000 — found many instances of the RGA accepting funds from Wall Street pension managers, and spending big to help governors. Those governors in turn appoint pension overseers. (Greitens GOT MONEY!!!)

    – In Missouri, for example, state records show hedge funds Elliott Management and AQR Capital manage more than $1 billion worth of state pension money, earning the two firms more than $11 million in fees last year. WHY ARE THE FEES SO EXPENSIVE???

  84. Social Security Advisory Board should be publishing a POSITION PAPER on the GOVERNMENT PENSION OFFSET….and the harmful effects it causes for widows…by the end of this year! Just as BRADY has said…TIME TO CORRECT THE MATH FOR WEP…the SSAB….should be documenting that it’s TIME TO CORRECT THE MATH FOR WIDOWS!!! WE EARNED AND DESERVE OUR SURVIVOR BENEFITS!!!

    I asked NEA lobbyist…Al Campos…questions about GPO….and he couldn’t answer my questions !!! I have paid NEA union dues for 25 years! I need to know about the 60 months exemption for GPO. Supposedly…if you work the LAST 60 MONTHS…IN A POSITION THAT PAYS INTO SOC SECURITY…AND THE JOB IS IN THE SAME RETIREMENT SYSTEM….YOU CAN BE EXEMPTED FROM GPO . Has anyone tried this? What do you know about GPO….that I don’t know ?????

    Oh—-Pat Toomey (Penn) supports S 3303….but it would ONLY REPEAL…WEP & GPO….FOR POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS. WHY DOESN’T S 3303…INCLUDE HARD-WORKING TEACHERS……ESPECIALLY WIDOWS ???????

    There’s suppose to be a law…that all new teachers in Missouri…are suppose to SIGN A PAPER….stating that the SCHOOL DISTRICT…has INFORMED THEM ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY…AND THE 2 LAWS….WEP & GPO. I just asked a NEW TEACHER….if she signed her paper….SHE SAID SHE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT! I personally don’t think the LAW is being followed. I know NEA….NEVER TALKS ABOUT WEP & GPO!!! Whenever I tell someone about these 2 LAWS…..they don’t believe me! My Fnancial Planner and Tax advisor….were completely unaware of WEP & GPO !!!

  85. I retired from teaching at the end of the 2016 school at 70. I didn’t retire with full benefits because I stayed home with my children. I was widowed two years ago and can’t get my husband’s social security benefits. I can not understand why my being a teacher should effect my ability to collect my husband’s benefits. It seems terribly unfair.

  86. I retired from teaching at the end of the 2016 school at 70. I didn’t retire with full benefits because I stayed home with my children. I was widowed two years ago and can’t get my husband’s social security benefits. I can not understand why my being a teacher should effect my ability to collect my husband’s benefits. It seems terribly unfair.

  87. Teachers work to hard and spend to much money on their education, not to mention supplies for her students. GIVE US A BREAK. GIVE US ALL OF OUR EARNED SS.

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