Michigan School Pension Cost Soar
Getty Images By Kevork Djansezian
Wow, has our cost to fund the teachers’ pension fund soared to heights we would not have believed.
Back in 2010, the school retirement system cost Michigan taxpayers $1.2 billion. Let’s fast forward 4 years to 2014 and those cost have risen to $2.1 billion. That, my fellow taxpayers, has increased our cost an estimated $622 per pupil over only 4 years.
As reported by the Michigan Capitol Confidential, back in 2011 Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was eviscerated by many that the $470 per pupil reduction in public school funding that year was going to be a “massive” hit to the schools.
Back in May, David Martell, the executive director of the Michigan School Business Officials organization, was quoted in the article as saying, "This is going to be potentially devastating.”
Yet none of them seem to be worried about this soaring cost to the school pension system. All we hear from them are crickets on that issue.
I ask the question, "Why?"
Why the silence?
As stated in the Michigan Capitol Confidential article, “the school pension system has accumulated a $26.5 billion unfunded liability.”
How are we suppose to fund current school cost and catch up with the $26.5 billion unfunded liability?
Why have the past Democrat and Republican administrations underfunded the pension system for so many years?
They never met their obligations to the teachers, the pension fund, or us the taxpayer.
That is the main problem: dollars that could have gone to pay for current school cost now must be put into the pension fund.
Second problem: they not only want their cake, but they also want to eat it. They want increases to their current operating budgets and salaries as well as their pension fund fully funded. Now, I understand wanting both, but how do we fund both?
Remember what Mick Jagger said: "You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you find you get what you need."
Let’s discuss this tomorrow (Friday) on my show, The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.
Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.