The Minneapolis Committee of Thirteen: Advocating for your defined benefit pension system and educating for a secure retirement with dignity.
It’s autumn, the time of year we gear up for the legislative session in which public employee pension systems are mulled, debated and very often modified here in Minnesota. During the next few months, the Legislative Commission of Pensions and Retirement, the LCPR, a joint House and Senate committee, meets to hear about, discuss and shape legislation about TRA, MSRS, PERA and other Minnesota public employee pension systems. How much active teachers, principals, clerks, ESPs and other workers in state funded jobs contribute to their pension systems, and how much those who are retired from those jobs get in pension payments.
It is also the time we ask active teachers and principals to sign up for payroll deductions of $1, $2, $5 or whatever amount they can manage to help meet the costs of advocating for them at the LCPR meetings as well as in face to face meetings with Representatives and Senators from across the state. Contributions are also used to help fund to campaigns. It used to be that campaign contributions from political action committees, PACs, were limited to a few hundred dollars during the campaign year, 2016, and there was a limit on how many total dollars candidate could accept from PACs. Those limits have now doubled and contributions cover a two-year span, currently 2015-2016. Well funded opponents of public employee benefits, including your pension, will have no trouble meeting those new limits, but we may be able to keep up without your help.
Next week will kick off the Pension Awareness Week. When active Minneapolis Public School teachers and principals see the bright green and yellow wristbands in their buildings, they’ll know the Actives Campaign is underway. If you are wearing a Pension Awareness Day wristband, be prepared to explain it to your colleagues; you’ll know what to tell them by then because other materials will be sent out at the same time.
Raising awareness is the first step in standing up for our earned benefits. Sharing that awareness then strengthens us all. And that’s what the Committee of Thirteen is all about:
* Supporting your future security by protecting your defined benefit pension system, TRA and Social Security.
* Understanding how an investment in your pension system and other places assures your later years will be a reward for your working years, and not a purgatory suffered under the influence of greed and economic inequity.
Please be ready and do what you can.