It is a source of great pride for me to address one of my former, and favorite, students as ?Governor.? Although it?s been some time since I advised Gov. Bobby Jindal as a guidance counselor at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, I still remember writing recommendation letters to many colleges on his behalf.
Today, I serve as the chairwoman of the Teachers? Retirement System of Louisiana Board of Trustees. We represent more than 160,000 retired and active educators, who receive or look forward to receiving a meaningful and reliable benefit upon retirement from a demanding yet rewarding profession.
Our members rely upon all stakeholders and decision-makers to work together to ensure that TRSL remains a healthy and fiscally sound retirement system. In May, the TRSL Board voted to support a bill that works toward this end.
Senate Bill 6 would require employers who terminate participation in TRSL, for some or all employees, to pay their proportionate share of the state?s unfunded accrued liability. This would only occur in the event an employer chooses to leave TRSL.
Senate Bill 6 is all about fairness. It prevents employers that remain in TRSL from having to assume increased liabilities created by agencies that may choose to leave.
The TRSL Board has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of the system. We believe Senate Bill 6 will benefit both the retirement system and the state by ensuring that payments to the UAL are not jeopardized.
Gov. Jindal has recognized the importance of this issue in the past, and signed similar legislation into law for the retirement systems covering municipal, parochial and school employees. For the sake of fairness, I encourage him to do the same for the teachers of this state.
I have wonderful memories of Gov. Jindal and so many other bright and talented students from my 36 years as an educator in Louisiana. I know that I speak for many retired teachers in this state when I ask the governor to honor our service and sign Senate Bill 6 into law.
It is the right thing to do.
Anne H. Baker, board chairwoman
Teachers? Retirement System of Louisiana