Manchin reveals teacher pension merger plan

By Scott Finn 

Today, state Senators received Gov. Manchin’s bill to merge two retirement plans for school employees. Manchin’s plan would allow teachers in the poorly-performing 401-k retirement system to join the state’s traditional pension fund. 

But his plan sets a high bar that school employees must meet before the two plans could be merged. Manchin’s plan would require 70 percent of employees in the so-called “new” plan to vote for the merger. That’s not 70 percent of the employees who turn out to vote. That’s 70 percent of all 20,000 employees affected.

School employees would receive at least three-quarters of their pension automatically. If they wanted more, they’d have to pay for it. And older teachers would pay more than younger ones.

Senate Pensions Chairman Dan Foster said he understand what Manchin is trying to do, but that lawmakers may want to adjust some of his proposals.

The idea is to allow school employees back into the “old” pension system, without running up the state’s unfunded liability. Teachers can’t be forced back into the old system – a recent court case decided that. For this to work, a high percentage of the teachers would have to agree to come back voluntarily.

The leaders of the state’s teachers unions are asking for more. Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin says lawmakers might be willing to put in $70 million to help school employees buy back their full pension.

So lawmakers are likely to change Manchin’s proposal in the next few weeks. But Foster says they definitely should pass something this year, and it will probably be a compromise between the governor, lawmaker and the education unions.

Explore posts in the same categories: Radio news

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: