Oklahoma's teacher retirement benefits not in danger, administrator says - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Oklahoma's teacher retirement benefits not in danger, administrator says

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The administrator of the Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System says active and retired teachers aren't in danger of losing their pension benefits.

According to a draft report of the Oklahoma Pension Oversight Commission, the OTRS has 7.1 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities and is funded at only 49.5 percent. That makes it the third worst-funded public pension program in the country.

Tommy C. Beavers says that's not good, but he says there's a misconception that the program's financial status means that teachers might get only half of their benefits some day.

Beavers acknowledges the system needs an infusion of cash to become fully funded in the next couple of decades, but some legislative initiatives this year could help the system significantly.

Governor Brad Henry has proposed using 100 million dollars in surplus funds for a one-time contribution into the system. Beavers says the 100 million dollars will increase to nearly 1 billion dollars over a 30-year period.

Another plan would require actuarial studies to be attached to any retirement bills with a fiscal impact.
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