Monday, April 6, 2009

Teachers Retirement benefit unfunded

Officials with the state teachers retirement system said Friday that a cut in its state budget could result in pension reductions for 300 retirees.

About $45,000 in state general funds, used to pay supplemental benefits for retirees who receive pensions below a certain amount, was not included in the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, said Maureen Westgard, executive director of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana, called TRSL

Her statements were made at the system’s board meeting.The supplemental benefits are mandated by four state laws enacted between 1944 and 1960, Westgard said.

About 300 retirees receive supplemental benefits through the acts, according to information from TRSL. Their average supplemental benefit is $10 a month, bringing the average total benefit from the system to about $330 a month.“The language in the state law is that if TRSL cannot provide the dollars, it cannot pay the (supplemental) benefits,” Westgard said.

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