On Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, there was a story on WDAY TV in regards to public employee pension programs. They took a feed from ABC Channel 5 in the Twin Cities and it was filled with misinformation. The story stated that the state government was paying into the retirement programs. I cannot speak to Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) or Minnesota State Retirement Systems (MSRS), but the information on the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) was false.
The state government does not pay into the TRA program. The TRA is self-sustaining by donations of working teachers, matching contributions by the local school board and investment income.
The news feed also told of people who are double and triple dipping and getting more than $100,000 per year. There are only 55 TRA retirees in that position, and that is because they paid in extra during their working years and now do not receive Social Security. That was known as Basic Plan and was only available to older retirees, not present teachers.
Channel 5 ABC in Minneapolis was asked to correct the story, but so far, they have declined. Apparently, the media loves eye-catching stories whether true or false. -- Francis S. Maday, Vergas