ND lawmakers pass teacher pension bill

Legislators in the North Dakota House have passed a bill that increases mandatory pension contributions to the states’ Teacher’s Fund for Retirement.

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would increase retirement contributions for both teachers and school districts by 2 percent in both 2012 and 2014, raising the total contributions from 16.5 percent to 24.5 percent.

Lawmakers told the Bismarck Tribune the fund currently has 70 percent of the funding it needs to cover all of its potential costs.

In the Senate earlier this month, lawmakers removed one provision in the law that would have required teachers to pay for some of the increase, instead of allowing the teacher benefits to be part of collective bargaining agreements.

According to the Tribune, 40 percent of school districts across the state pay at least part of teachers’ retirement contributions.

That removal of the CBA restriction was met well by educators. The North Dakota Education Association has said it supports the current version of the bill, which should stabilize the pension fund.

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