UM Curators Considering Change to Retirement Plans
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri President Gary Forsee met with faculty and staff Wednesday to discuss financial issues facing the school and a possible change to retirement plans. Forsee said the UM Board of Curators could consider a plan as soon as next month to change the retirement system for future employees to a defined contribution plan, like a 401k, rather than a traditional pension.
One staff member asked Forsee if current employees had an option to adopt the new plan if it is put in place. Forsee said current employees wouldn't have that option and would remain a part of the defined benefits, or pension, plan.
Forsee said money wasn't the main reason for the changes. Instead, he said, "It is about ensuring for the future needs of our employees, our faculty and staff, that we can create and provide a certainty going forward."
Even though the proposed changes wouldn't affect the plans of current employees, one MU professor said it could definitely affect the current system.
"The change in the system could have a change in the way the current pension plan is funded," said Clyde Bentley, vice chair of the Faculty Council.
Bentley also said problems may arise with the current employees due simply to a "distrust of change."
Bentley said he doesn't see academics as great risk takers, and said they'd probably prefer knowing exactly what is going in to their retirement. But he also thinks there will be a mixture of feelings.
Bentley knows both sides of the coin, saying he likes having a fixed pension available to him, but he also said he has several "401k-type of programs" on his own.
The proposed changes are scheduled to be on the Board of Curators' December agenda, but Forsee said the decision may not be made then. He said if the plan isn't ready, there is no reason to rush the decision.