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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: March 13, 2007

Senator Mike Mazzei
Senator Mike Mazzei

Senate Approves Measure to Strengthen Teachers’ Retirement System

The full Senate has given approval to another measure aimed at strengthening the Teachers Retirement System of Oklahoma (TRS).  Sen. Mike Mazzei is the author of Senate Bill 1092 which was approved by the Senate on Tuesday.

Mazzei explained the measure would increase the monies that the state, in combination with the school systems, puts into TRS.  The increased employer contribution would be contingent upon available state dollars to cover that cost.  Currently, the rate is 8 percent for common education employers, two-year colleges and state agencies in the system.  Four-year universities and colleges currently contribute 7.05 percent.

“Under this legislation, the contribution rate will be increased to 8.75 percent.  That will infuse the retirement system with $36 million a year, which will grow as teacher salaries increase,” said Mazzei, R-Tulsa.  “With this one adjustment, we can get the funded rate of TRS to about 75 percent in twenty years.”

The Senate had previously approved another measure also designed to strengthen TRS.  SB 1119, which was approved on March 6, would raise the dedicated stream of revenue from income and sales tax collections to pour additional money into TRS.

“This is the year—we must act now to make significant investments in TRS to ensure the pensions promised to thousands of educators will be there when we need them.  Failing to act this session would be catastrophic in the coming years,” Mazzei said.  “But the good news is, we have time to fix TRS if we pass legislation this year.”

For more information contact:
Senator Mazzei's Office - (405) 521-5675

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