This letter is in reference to Representative Rocky Miller's unprovoked rant and bashing of retired educators.
This letter is in reference to Representative Rocky Miller's unprovoked rant and bashing of retired educators. This is very simple. Mr. Miller has introduced a piece of legislation (HB 2660) that will cost our retirement system up to $520 million in increased liability. This will weaken our retirement system now and in the future and threaten our retirement benefits including future cost of living adjustments. Why would retired educators not oppose this bill? Why are you trying to silence us?
Second, the legislation injects election politics into our retirement system by requiring an elected school board member to sit on the board of trustees. The PSRS and PEERS systems were founded in 1946 and 1965 respectively which purposely and by design kept election politics out of the decision-making process. For 72 years and 53 years PSRS/PEERS has done an outstanding job of investing of now $43 billion in assets without politicians such as Mr. Miller on the board of trustees. Currently, Missouri teachers are ranked 45th in the nation in teacher salary. The retirement benefits for educators are just deferred compensation for a career of caring and teaching our children at low pay. Also, our retirement system is essential in attracting and retaining the best educators possible.
In most counties and cities in Missouri, the largest employer is the local school district. They are a community's sense of pride with hard working educators who deserve a decent retirement system. In 2017 PSRS/PEERS retirees continued serving their communities by volunteering 746,646 hours. Why does Mr. Miller want to damage that system? Representative Miller, whom do you represent, special interest or your local public schools and educators?
--Sue Dye, Nondas Bogart, Donna Nessan, Gwen McDonald, Shari Gaddy, Camden County Retired Teachers and School Personnel officers
Editor’s Note: This letter is in response to a Readers’ Mailbag from State Rep. Rocky Miller (R-Lake Ozark) regarding the Retired Teachers Association and the teacher retirement system. The letter ran in the March 22, 2018 Lake Sun.