MT Lawmakers Approve Pension Fixes

March 20, 2007 ( - A Montana House committee has endorsed legislation designed to address a $170 million shortfall for three state retirement funds.

The bill calls for a $4.3 million increase in government contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System and retirement funds for game wardens, sheriffs and some other peace officers spread over the next four years, according to the Billings Gazette. In addition, the bill reduces benefit increases for future participants to 1.5% per year, leaving intact the 3% increase for current participants and retirees.

The panel killed an alternate bill that would have left benefit increases at 3% for future participants, the Gazette said. It may act later this week on a separate bill that addresses the $400 million shortfall of the state’s Teachers Retirement System (TRS).

The TRS bill calls for a $100 million lump sum deposit into the retirement fund and increased employer contributions to the fund paid by the state.