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Judge Upholds Most Aspects Of Teacher Benefits Law

LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A judge has upheld most aspects of a new law requiring Michigan public school employees to pay more for their pensions.

Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina on Thursday rejected broader challenges from teachers unions that the law is rife with unconstitutional provisions and contract violations. Her ruling mostly supports arguments from Republicans including Gov. Rick Snyder.

An appeal is likely.

Aquilina in September had granted an injunction in the case after 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 had required a decision from teachers by late October.

Also Thursday, to satisfy the judge’s concerns, the Legislature moved to set a Jan. 9 deadline for teachers to make a decision.

Teachers hired before mid-2010 qualify for a pension in retirement, while those hired after participate in a hybrid system that includes both a pension and 401(k) plan, Mlive.com reported.

Officials say the measure cuts more than $15 billion from a $45 billion liability on the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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