WNPR

Are Changes To Connecticut's Teacher Retirement System On The Way?

Feb 7, 2017

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Friday his two-year tax and spending plan will include a proposal that would shift some of the burden of teacher's pensions to Connecticut cities and towns.

Currently, the state pays the entire amount of the Connecticut State Teacher's Retirement System. The governor's plan would require municipalities to pay for a third of that, shifting roughly $407 million in pension payments from the state to municipalities.

Malloy said the proposal makes sense since teachers and school administrators are, in effect, municipal employees.

"The state does not pay for other groups - not police, not firefighters, no other group of town employees does the state establish a pension system for," said Malloy.

He also said the proposal would not change the benefits retired teachers are currently receiving.

In a written statement, Joe DeLong, executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, was critical of the proposal the proposed change would:

"require towns to contribute almost $1 billion over two years -- tantamount to a $1 billion bill to property taxpayers across Connecticut. Such a colossal cost transfer – even given the current fiscal realities and the need to look at all areas of state and local spending -- only reinforces the urgency to address the structural changes needed to give municipalities new tools for revenue diversification to keep in line with the overwhelming number of other states. As partners in governing the State, municipal officials look forward to having conversations with state officials about best pathways for economic and social success for Connecticut".

Malloy delivers his budget address at noon on Wednesday to the General Assembly.