Can East Lansing reduce pension benefits for current and new workers?

Sunday, April 29, 2018, 12:27 pm
By: 
Chris Root

Can the City of East Lansing change the design of pensions or reduce pension benefits moving forward in order to reduce future cost?

The City can make certain changes aimed at reducing costs of future pension benefits of current employees and new hires, but, for most employees, it cannot make such changes unilaterally (without the unions' cooperation) because pension benefits, along with wage increases, are part of contractual agreements that are negotiated between the City and unions. About 80% of East Lansing’s employees are members of unions.

All of East Lansing’s seven collective bargaining agreements end in June 2019. It would be highly unusual for both sides to agree to reopen negotiations on this issue before the contracts are up for renewal.

Employees who are not in union positions must agree to any change in their accrued benefits, but the City can change the designs of their pension plans moving forward.

Click here to read more about what the City has done to reduce its pension costs.

This article is part of a larger investigation of East Lansing's pension plans; click here to read the lead article for that investigation.

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