Letter to the Editor

Save Retirement

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dear Editor:

Proposals by the Show Me Institute, a research and educational institute, and its president Rex Sinquefield would dismantle the state public retirement systems, which have defined benefit plans and replace them with 401Ks.

The Missouri Highway Patrol, MoDOT, local government and schools are some of the public entities that the move would affect.

Three reputable lobbyists have also been hired by the PEW/Arnold Trust to spread their flawed, agenda-driven facts and figures to all legislators.

Their purpose is to warn the state government that public retirement systems will cause the state to go bankrupt.

As retired educators, we know that the retirement system has been working in partnership with its members and 537 school districts for 67 years to provide a strong, sustainable and secure retirement benefit to nearly 230,000 public school teachers and education employees.

The benefits paid each year serve not only as a source of income to retirees, but they also fuel the local economies in which the retirees reside. PSRS/PEERS has a superior performance by being 82.6 percent funded with an investment return of 12.6 percent for 2013.

Also keep in mind that each educator has paid into the retirement system, with that amount being matched by the local school district.

This is what helps make PSRS/PEERS the 44th largest public pension plan in the nation and not a liability to bankrupt our state.

We urge you to contact your legislators and let them know how you feel about public retirement systems and public education.

-Jane Bowden MRTA Region 6 Legislative Chair