Because of declining investment returns for state pension plans, taxpayers will have to contribute about half a million dollars to pensions in the next few years.
We won't know what the total will be for the next budget until a Sept. 17 meeting, but this year's tab is $375 million.
This sort of pension plan is often considered generous in the private sector. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch article said the top pension earner is former Truman State University President Jack Magruder, who receives $151,188 each year.
Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, who is on the board that controls the fund, suggested that employees should contribute to their plans.
Crowell also suggested looking into whether pension benefits should be decreased. Both those options would require a change in law.
State Commissioner of Administration Kelvin Simmons, who is also on the board, said the pension fund could be depleted in times of hardship, such as now, as long as the average gain from investments over time is greater than the expected 8 percent return. This year, the return on investments was a 19 percent loss.
What is the best solution to the pension fund deficit? How do you think it should be funded?