Home Minnesota Educator Pension legislation moving through committees, TRA Board election voting open until April 21

Pension legislation moving through committees, TRA Board election voting open until April 21

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Education Minnesota continues its work on pension improvements this legislative session as it always has. Legislation has been introduced and debate has begun, members across the state are engaging in their local and state advocacy plans to get legislative support and Education Minnesota staff have been meeting with legislators and the governor regularly and continue to push them to increase their support for educator pensions.

Pension legislation

As of press time, the first bill on pension reform has been introduced at the Minnesota Legislature. Senate File 1938 and House File 2222 were introduced in order to improve the pension benefits of Minnesota educators. This bill was developed from the Education Minnesota Pension Task Force recommendations. Numerous educators testified at the first hearing of the bill.

HF 2222/SF 1938 bill components:

  • Normal Retirement Age (NRA) of 62 years or 35 years of service credit threshold years for TRA and SPTRFA: This would lower the Normal Retirement Age, as well as create a level of service credit. This would mean when either is attained the member would be provided an unreduced benefit.
  • COVID additional service credit for any school employees in PERA, MSRS, STPRFA and TRA: The bill would double service credits earned in years 2020, 2021 and 2022. This makes it more affordable for school employees to retire earlier if they choose and recognizes the difficult, essential and vital work that took place during the pandemic.
  • Adjustable COLA from 1-3% in TRA: Tying post-retirement adjustments to inflation rates would provide a benefit that better keeps up with actual increases in costs of living.
  • Restoration of Augmentation in TRA: For those who have deferred benefits, it would provide an appropriate balance between the increase in the investment contributions of members and the value of the benefit when inflation deteriorates its value.

As of press time, the TRA legislative proposal was set to be introduced. This bill will be used as the “vehicle” bill for end-of-session negotiations. This means the bill with the TRA components will be used as a starting point for discussions, and will be amended as legislators make their final decisions. As we’ve mentioned in the past, any pension improvements are highly dependent on the budget target given to the LCPR.

TRA elections

The Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association is holding an election to fill two seats on its Board of Trustees. Six Education Minnesota members are running, and Education Minnesota has created a voters guide and hosted a Q&A session with the candidates which is recorded. Both are available on our pensions webpage. Active TRA members should have received their ballots in mid-March and have until April 21 to vote. The results will be certified by the TRA Board in June and shared on their website, www.minnesotatra.org.

New online resources available on our pension webpage

Education Minnesota members can access numerous resources on the pensions page on our website,

www.educationminnesota.org/advocacy/at-the-legislature/pensions. This includes many new items!

This online version of our 2022-23 Pension Advocacy Plan presentation is in three parts and covers our advocacy leading up to this year, pension plan essentials and current advocacy plan organizing and actions.

Materials to host a 10-minute meeting to organize in your local around the Pension Advocacy Plan are available, including an agenda, slideshow and handout.

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