Statement by Pete Constant,
Chief Executive Officer
Retirement Security Initiative
Re: Governor Snyder Signing Michigan Pension Reform
July 13, 2017—“Today is a significant day for Michigan. Governor Rick Snyder has signed monumental legislation into law that puts all Michigan teachers on a path to a secure retirement future, while capping the state’s massive pension debt from spiraling further.
"Weighed down with $29 billion in unfunded liabilities, the Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System was unsustainable and teachers’ retirement futures were uncertain. By restructuring the plan for new teachers, Michigan lawmakers have ensured that the teachers’ retirement system will be on a path to being fully funded and sustainable, allowing the state to meet its commitments to current and retired teachers without cutting a dollar of their pension benefits.
“The restructured system provides teachers fair, predictable and sustainable benefits, as well as more control over their finances with a portable plan they can carry with them from one job to another, regardless of tenure. By fully funding their retirement commitments and paying down the state’s pension debt over a reasonable amount of time, lawmakers have effectively ensured Michigan teachers a brighter retirement future.
“There is no doubt that this is the most comprehensive pension reform enacted by any state to-date. This legislation provides every newly hired teacher with retirement security, while ensuring that future generations of taxpayers will not be subject to the unlimited accumulation of pension debt.
“The Retirement Security Initiative applauds the Michigan Legislature and Governor Snyder for tackling a difficult challenge and seeing it through to success. Michigan should be proud of their pension reform efforts. It is a job well done!”