It’s legislative season for each of the four Minnesota pension plans, ours included. This year is shaping up to be a critical one, as significant funding bills are being considered by the legislature that will have a profound impact on pension security for thousands of teachers, public safety workers, and civil servants. SPTRFA has proposed a legislative package intended to address increased costs due to 1) members living longer and 2) moving the Plan to a more conservative approach by reducing the Plan’s investment return assumption from 8% to 7.5%.
First, we should bring to your attention several positive aspects of the legislative activity surrounding pensions this year. Notably, in his recently proposed budget, Governor Dayton provided very visible support for pensions by calling for significant additional financial commitments. Although the budget did not fully fund all requests, it represented an important and bold step for which we are grateful.
Leadership on this issue then moved to the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement (LCPR), the bipartisan pension commission. We commend the LCPR on the thoughtful approach they have taken thus far under the leadership of Sen. Julie Rosen (Chair); Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (Vice Chair); and Sen. Sandy Pappas (Secretary). The Commission has begun the difficult process of attempting to balance the important pension security issues at hand within the framework of available funding and the potential need for thoughtful cost savings measures. We expect an active and productive dialogue for the remainder of the session and will continue to meet with the LCPR and legislators to advocate for your Plan and the importance of retirement security.
While it’s still early days, we may call on your support as the session continues – please stay tuned!