Proposed Pension Changes Would Save Grand Rapids Community College $1.3 Million

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Proposed changes to Michigan’s school employee retirement benefit system will save Grand Rapids Community College approximately $1.3 million this year, administrators said.

The legislation, approved by the state House and Senate earlier this month, freezes the amount the college pays into the Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System and requires employees who want to maintain their current level of benefits upon retirement to pay more, said Lisa Freiburger, vice president for finance and administration.

“We appreciate the fact that the rate will be frozen,” she said.“The rate has grown astronomically (and) is a large expense for us. The cost has most certainly impacted our ability to control costs and tuition levels … on an annual basis.”

This fiscal year, the college is budgeted to pay $14.4 million into the MPSERS system. That’s up significantly from 2000-01, when the college paid $4.3 million into the system. There are approximately 1,300 GRCC employees in MPSERS.

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