Senator Kenneth Corn (D-Poteau) strongly opposes the proposal of one state representative to suspend state payments for retirement contributions for two years.
House Bill 1036 authored by Rep. Robert Worthen could cause the Oklahoma teacher's retirement system to lose at least $220 million annually as well as lose investment earnings if payments are suspended.
"I do not support delaying payment to the teachers' retirement fund," said Senator Corn. "This would be a reckless move on a system that is already badly damaged."
The pension system has suffered in the past when other money was deferred and never put back into the system. Also due to the recent national economic downturn, the system has experienced losses on their investments.
"As Chairman of the Senate Retirement and Group Health Committee, it is my responsibility to ensure that our retired state employees and teachers receive the benefits they need and deserve. To delay payments to the teacher's pension system would be fiscally irresponsible and could only further damage our state," stated Senator Corn. "This proposal is out of line and I do not believe that the Legislature should go after our retired teachers."