Reader responds to recent letters about retirement of educators

To the editor:

I am writing in response to letters written regarding the retirement of educators, specifically the letters that have been written regarding retirement benefits Terry Noble will receive once he elects to retire.

First, I would like to state that the increase in salary granted by the Mehlville Board of Education is absurd.

With the expected state budget cuts and the decrease in real estate taxes due to the decreased assessed value of most homes in St. Louis County, this was not a financially responsible move on the part of the school board.

With that said, there has been some information presented that is simply not accurate regarding the source of funding for educators’ retirement benefits. Celeste Witzel recently wrote that Mr. Noble’s retirement would be “courtesy, mostly of we Missouri taxpayers” and that the taxpayers would be on the hook for his retirement benefits for the rest of his life.

This is simply not accurate information. Yes, the educators of Missouri do have their own retirement fund. However, the state of Missouri does not pay into this account. It is mandated that every educator’s salary have 14 percent deducted from each paycheck.

This amount is then matched by the local school district. These funds are sent to Public School Retirement System of Missouri, or PSRS.

The funds are invested and the earnings from these investments are the third, and final, source of funds for the retirement system.

There are no funds given to the retiree from the taxpayers other than the amount paid as salary while employed and the matching amount required to be submitted by the local school district while the educator was employed.

As stated by PSRS of Missouri’s website, “PSRS/PEERS is an actuarial reserve, joint contributory program and its funding comes from three sources: member contributions, employer contributions and investment earnings. Missouri law requires the system to re-main in actuarial balance, which guarantees availability of funds to pay benefits as prescribed by law.”

More information may be found at the program’s website at

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Terry Kite

Concord