Public Announcements

Legislative Update for PEPSA Members

We urgently need every member’s help!  This year we have a tremendous opportunity to protect our pensions now and in the future.  The Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement (LCPR) passed Senate File 2620 Rosen/ House File 3053 O’Driscoll, (SF 2620/ HF 3053). This will be the 2018 Omnibus Pension Bill.  It is a product of over three years of work and will go a long way to ensuring our pensions will be safe. 

The last two pension bills were vetoed.  The first because there were cuts in benefits solely to members.  Last year’s bill was vetoed because it was combined with a local preemption bill.  Both bills were the victim of politics.  This year’s bill, however, has many different changes.  First, over 25 union and public employee groups support it.  Second, the bill does contain $6 billion reductions in benefits and employee contributions.  In addition, the bill includes over $2 billion in increased State aids to fulfill the promise of our pensions. 

The legislation is also comprehensive.  It includes every pension plan in the state and has the support of all the union labor groups, as well as the cities, counties and school districts, all of the boards of the four pension plans have signed off on it. 

All that remains is to get our legislators to pass this bill.  This is where you come in.  We need you to begin contacting your State Senators and State Representatives and ask them to directly support            SF 2620/ HF 3053 (the pension legislation) as introduced, with funding and with no changes.  As you know, public pensions are under attack throughout the country.  That is still true in Minnesota.  Outside groups have recently come into the state through the Pew and Arnold Foundations to devise ways to blow up our pension plans.  We must not let this happen.  Our best route to protect these pensions is to get this bill passed now.  Yes, there are benefits reductions.  Yes, there are changes that we would rather not see, but most importantly, the benefit changes we are faced with combined with the new state funding and increased employee and employer contributions, we will ensure that the promises that have been made to us will be kept. 

Our organization has been a leader in this effort for three years.  Now is the time to act.  We ask each of you and your family members to find out who your legislator is, contact them, write them a letter, visit them in person if you can and ask that they support this legislation.  It’s been a long three-year battle.  In ten weeks the legislature adjourns on May 20th.  We need you now!  If you need to find out who your legislator is, go to https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/.  When you talk to your legislator, tell them it is essential that do not leave before the legislation passes. 

Thank You.

Luci Botzek, JD

PEPSA Executive Director/Lobbyist

 

 

 

 

Senate Moves to Fix Minnesota Pension Plans

Many Minnesota government pension plans are paying out more than they are taking in.

State Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, says that is troubling. Her colleagues agreed Monday when they unanimously approved her bill that increases funding going into the pension plans and slightly cuts some benefits.

While senators are together on the issue, the pension bill has not received a House committee hearing. Gov. Mark Dayton wants to spend $27 million to help shore up public pensions.

Rosen’s bill has been in the works for three years as aging baby boomers are retiring, stressing pension plans. The House and Senate have approved many of the provisions, but Dayton vetoed bigger bills containing the pension language.

One issue that has created the problem, Rosen said, is that Minnesotans generally are living two years longer than had been predicted and, thus, drawing pension checks longer.

Overall, however, pensions and other retirement plans are dealing with an aging population that is retiring without as many new workers entering the job market. The impact differs from plan to plan.

Click here to watch the video

Rosen said the bill would save state and local pension plans more than $6 billion over 30 years.

Money is saved in several areas, including reducing cost of living raises in some circumstances. It also delays the increases until an early retiree reaches the normal retirement age of 66.

Original Post:https://www.twincities.com/2018/03/26/senate-moves-to-fix-minnesota-pension-plans/

PEPSA Spring 2018 Newsletter

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