LEOFF 1/TRS 1 Merger Study
The second roundtable meeting for the TRS 1/LEOFF 1 merger study was conducted on August 30th in Olympia. About thirty folks attended this meeting including seven RSPOA members. As with the first meeting, this too was no particularly useful or productive.
Attending from RSPOA were Kerry Guynn, Tom Murphy, Mike Gregg, Fred Still, Al O’Brien, Jeff Caldwell and Jerry Taylor. We really appreciate your attendance even though not much happens at these meetings. It does show our keen interest and serves as notice to the legislators that we do not intend to stand by and let them attack our pension.
It is important to remember that the real battle will be fought in the legislative session. We will shortly be publishing an in-depth article about the meeting and the status of the study, but following are comments from some of those who attended.
I was there. This was a meeting just for the actuary to explain the bill and the financial concepts behind it.
There was no room for comments. We need to attend a meeting(s) with the legislatures themselves, if there will be one, so we can view our comments and concerns to them.
Jerry Taylor and another retired SPD came up with a good question and comment during the meeting. I had to leave before the meeting was over. I plan to attend future meetings and would encourage more of our LEOFF 1 members to do the same.
As I understand the concept, If we go under TRS we will be under the Teachers Pension (TRS) to fund all our pension payments and medical payments, which I have a feeling they will not be too happy about. Ask our members if the reverse were true, and we were asked to fund the teachers pensions/medical from the LEOFF 1 Pension Fund, would they be happy about that idea!
I had no problem driving down from Kent area, 60mph down and back. Parking is easy and not too far from the meeting rooms. I don't remember seeing any of our SERG members there.
Tom Murphy and I attended this meeting. I don't know any LEOFF 1's that are in favor of giving away our retirement. Why do they keep trying to steal it? This BS is getting old!!
Going to meetings requires the patience of Job. I could not stay for the finale but I think the endeavor was summed up by one of our few L1 attendees when he asked what’s in this for me. Nothing!! was the consensus. Unless you consider the 5K carrot. Please, I hope not.
If anything, it should be clear from these comments that the merger concept is a complicated issue. The purpose of the roundtable format was to provide an opportunity to discuss the issue with those who are proposing the merger. None of the bill sponsors came to the meeting. Matt Smith, the State Actuary, while informative is able only to provide numbers but is unable to comment on the policy.
Stay tuned for my next article which will review this in depth.