Senator Guglielmo: HB 5016, Legislation that Unfairly Targets Retired Teachers

March 27, 2012

Hartford, CT – House Bill 5016, An Act Concerning The Governor’s Recommendations Concerning General Government, would force retired teachers to pay greater out-of-pocket expenses for their health insurance premiums.

Senator Guglielmo said, “It is fundamentally unfair to change the rules after the fact. These teachers – dedicated to their profession for years – believed when they retired they could count on receiving a benefit that was bound by a contract. Now we are telling them no. That’s wrong. We can not change the contract after the fact.”

Sen. Tony Guglielmo, right, at a press conference Tuesday with Sen, Kevin Witkos, left, concerning members of the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut (ARTC).

In the current system, retired teachers over the age of 65 are required to pay 33% of their health insurance premium while the state covers 33% and the Teachers Retirement Board (TRB) Health Fund covers 33%.

This bill, however, would require retired teachers to pay 42% of the premium while the state would pay 25% and the TRB Health Fund would remain stable at 33%. As a result, retired teachers over the age of 65 would see a 26% increase in monthly premium. Teachers who have paid into the system throughout their career will be left on the hook to pay an extra $7.6 million.

In addition, this bill would also cede much of the power of the Teachers Retirement Board to the Office of the Comptroller, a decision that was opposed by the TRB in an official resolution at the March 15th board meeting.

Senator Tony Guglielmo joins Senator Kevin Witkos in calling on the Chairs of the Appropriations Committee to change the language of this bill with the alternatives offered below.

FY 2013   
Potential Budget Option Budget Savings  Budget Savings
Reduce Statewide Marketing Account by the Amount Not Needed to Fund a $22 million Contract  $4,000,000
Consolidate 6 Legislative Commissions into one New Commission on Protected Classes $1,000,000
Eliminate Funding for the New Innovation Challenge Grant Program $500,000
Reduce Remaining Funding for Interdistrict Cooperation Competitive Grant Program $2,100,000
Total – Examples of Savings $7,600,000