Monday, May 29, 2006

no retired teacher left behind

PRS Plan 1 is funded at 81%, and TRS Plan 1 at 88%, but this isn't a disaster in the making, according to Sandy Matheson, director of Washington State's retirement programs.
Matheson called that a “normal range.” She noted that only the Legislature can appropriate funds for the pension systems, and lawmakers took steps to reduce that gap this year.

Lawmakers earmarked $350 million for the pension gap. They also created a scale of steadily increasing contributions from the state and employees that is intended to avoid a steep jump in contribution rates.

“As much as they could, they committed to funding the plans,” Matheson said. “This catch-up is a long-term problem. It isn’t new.”
But that's not all.
Of more concern to state workers should be the increasing length of retirement. She explained that traditional pensions decrease in value over time because of inflation.

Matheson said her own retirement funds include a substantial amount of personal savings to supplement her employer-sponsored and Social Security benefits.
In the works? "More education" for state employees, so they can figure out how to survive when their pension doesn't. My crystal ball may be cloudy, but I think I see lobbying in the future.

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