Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Beson: Teacher retirement plans shouldn’t be hijacked by Whitmer agenda
RELEASE|May 7, 2024
Contact: Timmy Beson

With Tuesday being Teacher Appreciation Day, state Rep. Timmy Beson is continuing to push for Michigan to keep its promise to educators who have worked hard for their retirement.

Beson, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee as well as an Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Education, has significant concerns regarding a proposed budget plan from the governor that shifts $670 million away from going into the state’s teacher pension system. The pension portion of the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System (MPSERS) still has nearly $25 billion in liability with an expected payoff date of 2038, according to the non-partisan House Fiscal Agency.

The Michigan House is slated to vote on the budget plan, House Bill 5503, on Wednesday.

“People across Bay County and the state are tired of being used to foot the bill for out-of-control state government spending,” said Beson, of Bay City. “The governor blew through a $9 billion surplus last year that was built through careful spending and respect for taxpayers. She raised state income taxes so workers and small business owners keep less of what they earn. Now she’s turning her attention to retirement obligations for teachers in places like Bay County who help our future generations learn and grow.

“This is a short-sighted decision that works to manipulate our debt payment laws while ultimately taking advantage of benefits our teachers were promised and are owed.”

Beson noted that paying the liability off earlier than the projected 2038 date would free up billions to spend on Michigan’s school system.

“The governor said that past efforts from her administration to fund our debts were like paying off a mortgage early,” Beson said. “If that’s the case, let’s stay on it. But she wants to shift money around now to cover other unsustainable plans she’s promised in her agenda – and our students, families, communities and educators will pay the price for it later.

“Elected officials have a responsibility to use taxpayer money appropriately. Paying down our debts to free up future resources is a big part of that, but this plan simply kicks the can down the road and mortgages the future.”

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