In order to continue to pay teacher's pensions long term the state has been told it needs to increase its ratio to just over 7% of teacher salaries. The Texas Constitution requires 6%. Perry is proposing to cut the state contribution to 5.6%. Teachers pay 6.4% of their salaries on top of the state contribution. A state spokesmen explained they wouldn't run out of money in the next couple of years so what was the big deal.
“The pension fund is not in any danger of paying out benefits, correct?” asked Rebecca Merrill of the governor’s office at the recent hearing.
“It really scares us when you are starting to talk about diverting money from [health]care to fund the pension system,” said Tim Lee, executive director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association.