LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A judge has temporarily blocked full implementation of a new law requiring Michigan public school employees to pay more for their pensions.
Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina granted an injunction Tuesday that gives over 200,000 public school employees more time to decide whether to pay more toward their pension, accept a lower pension or freeze their pension and switch to a defined contribution plan.
Earlier in the day, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation requiring public school employees to pay more for pensions and ending state-provided health coverage in retirement for new hires.
The legislation required a decision from teachers by Oct. 26 — a period that teacher’s unions say is an unreasonable amount of time for employees to make a “major, life altering” retirement financial planning decision.
“If the people who made these laws knew what a teacher did, they would know they’re always busy, but the first two or three weeks of the school year are incredibly hectic,” American Federation of Teachers Michigan President David Hecker told The Detroit News.
The judge scheduled a Nov. 28 hearing on legal challenges by two teachers’ unions.
The law’s supporters say it will withstand the challenges. Officials say the measure cuts more than $15 billion from a $45 billion liability on the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System.
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