DRAFT LETTER ON GRADED PREMIUM
The Michigan School Employees Retirement Board has proposed a change in law that would increase health care premiums for any retiree with less than 30 years of service by 3% a year. Currently school retirees all pay about 10% of their premium and the system pays the other 90%. This proposal would apply to all employees who have not vested and to all new hires. Although no bill has been introduced yet, RCC asks you to write to your state representative and state senator asking for a “NO!” vote on this bill. Letters to all House members can be mailed to the following address: The Honorable (Last name), etc., and to all senators to: The Honorable (Last name) etc. Be sure to write your home address on your letter and to send responses to the RCC office so we can keep track of what legislators are thinking!
The Honorable (full name)
State (Senator or Representative)
P.O. Box 30036 (senator) or P.O. Box 30014 (rep)
Lansing, MI 48909-7536 (senator) or 48909-7514(rep)
Dear Senator or Representative (last name):
I am a constituent of yours who (add description of yourself—retiree? Employee at a particular school district?). I am very concerned to hear that there will be another effort to increase what school retirees have to pay for their health insurance. Our co-payments and deductibles have gone up in recent years, but I know that the Legislature was not responsible for those cost increase to retirees.
However, I have heard that there will be another attempt to pass the “graded scale premium”. Right now, retirees’ pensions vary a lot, depending on when they retired, how long they worked, and what their job was in the schools. However, they could all count on having to pay only about 10% of the premium for their health benefits, whether they were janitors, teachers, or superintendents. The graded scale premium will mean only those employees who work for thirty full years will have this benefit. Any year short of that will add 3% to the retiree’s premium cost.
This is unfair to a lot of employees, including those whose jobs don’t pay as much and those who work in positions like school bus driving that aren’t full time. The proposal also will not permit “purchased” service credit to count towards the thirty years. A lot of women choose to teach or do other work in public school and interrupt their employment for childcare. In addition, many veterans purchase service credit for the time they spend defending their countries! We don’t think these decisions should penalize people when they retire.
Please let me know what you think and keep me informed once this bill is introduced.