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Teacher Backlash Halts Pension Reform in Georgia

  • By: admin
  • On: 03/19/2020 08:38:54
  • In: News
  • Comments: 0
 

State Representative Tommy Benton is retooling his pension reform proposal after receiving a massive backlash from educators and retirees.

Benton, chairman of the Georgia House's Retirement Committee, went back to the drawing board after receiving a flood of emails opposing the bill. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that he said the opposition made it unlikely the bill would pass in its original form.

Benton is dropping parts of House Bill 109 requiring teachers to work longer, possibly contribute more to their pensions and see lower cost-of-living increases in retirement, the Associated Press reported.

 

State Representative Tommy Benton is retooling his pension reform proposal after receiving a massive backlash from educators and retirees.

Benton, chairman of the Georgia House's Retirement Committee, went back to the drawing board after receiving a flood of emails opposing the bill. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that he said the opposition made it unlikely the bill would pass in its original form.

Benton is dropping parts of House Bill 109 requiring teachers to work longer, possibly contribute more to their pensions and see lower cost-of-living increases in retirement, the Associated Press reported.

The remaining provisions include a proposal to change the Georgia's Teachers Retirement System current practice of giving a 1.5% cost-of-living increase twice a year. Benton wants to cut that to 3% once a year, which would cut $17 million in costs by eliminating the compounding effect of twice-yearly adjustments. The savings would amount to a slim 0.7% of an estimated $2.3 billion in annual state and local contributions. Additionally, new hires would lose the ability to cash in sick leave upon retirement.

The Georgia Teachers Retirement System covers nearly 400,000 public school, college and university employees and retirees. Benton has said he wants to preserve pensions but argues that the current system is unsustainable over the long haul and that changes will be less painful if they are made sooner rather than later.

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