MARSP Members Push for MPSERS Funding Security

MARSP Members Push for MPSERS Funding Security

Over the last decade, the state has prioritized paying down MPSERS pension and healthcare debt. Through these efforts, MPSERS healthcare is now 126.9% funded according to the Fiscal Year 2023 valuation. As MARSP celebrates this milestone and the role members played in reaching it, concerns arise over the state’s continued commitment to MPSERS financial stability.

The Governor’s office, the House, and the Senate recently unveiled their budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2024. While all proposals include the usual MPSERS contributions, each redirects an expected $670 million payment toward MPSERS healthcare debt to other parts of the budget.

The state budget process is long and complex, and MARSP is fighting for the long-term stability of the retirement system every step of the way! We continue working behind the scenes to engage key stakeholders, share our expertise, and ensure the final budget supports today’s classrooms without jeopardizing the welfare of tomorrow’s public school retirees.  We urge you to contact your elected officials during budget negotiations to reinforce our message: MPSERS healthcare must remain 100% funded!


KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. MPSERS healthcare is currently over 100% funded.

2. Budget proposals for FY 2025 from the Governorthe House, and the Senate all direct the remainder of the healthcare debt payment towards other parts of the school aid budget.

3. MARSP is on it! We’re working in Lansing to ensure MPSERS healthcare stays permanently 100% funded going forward.

4. You can help by contacting your legislators and letting them know this is important to you.

Recent reforms prioritize MPSERS financial stability

MPSERS unfunded liability, often called debt, is the difference between what the system holds and what it owes its members. To address this, the state makes annual payments to MPSERS pension and healthcare debt, similar to making mortgage payments on a house. This practice of prefunding became law in 2012 after years of failing to make such payments caused snowballing MPSERS debt.

Additional reforms to the MPSERS Act in 2017 established a minimum funding level for the state’s yearly payment towards MPSERS debt. This ensures that the state’s annual contribution remains at least as much as the previous fiscal year when pension or healthcare funding is below 100%.

The state is also statutorily mandated to base its yearly pension and healthcare payments on the valuation from three years earlier. The state budget for 2025 uses data from the 2022 valuation, which put MPSERS healthcare funding at 99.2%. Because it’s below the 100% funding floor, the MPSERS Act would need to be changed to use the $670 million elsewhere in the budget. As mentioned, the 2023 valuation shows healthcare 126.9% funded. So even without a change to the MPSERS Act, additional healthcare funds will become available for the FY 2026 state budget.

MARSP joined others in advocating for the $670 million to go towards pension debt, which was 68.8% funded as of the 2023 valuation. Ideally, MPSERS pension and healthcare plans would both reach 100% funding before redirecting financial resources. While this outcome is unlikely, MARSP continues fighting to ensure MPSERS healthcare remains permanently 100% funded.

Stand up for MPSERS financial stability

Join MARSP’s efforts by contacting your elected officials during budget negotiations! Together, we can protect the welfare of current and future public school retirees.

Example message: 

My name is [Your Name] and I am from [Your City]. I am a member of the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel (MARSP), a nonpartisan organization working on behalf of public school retirees to protect our pensions and health care benefits.

My fellow MARSP members and I are concerned about the proposed changes to the MPSERS Act and the redirection of the annual payment towards MPSERS healthcare debt. We urge you to learn about this subject and do everything in your power to ensure MPSERS healthcare benefits remain permanently 100% funded. We also ask that you uphold the state’s commitment to pay off MPSERS unfunded pension costs by 2038, if not sooner.

Thank you for taking the time to consider how this issue impacts your retired constituents.

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