News Bite

Superintendent Gets $240K, School District Out Another $100K In Pension 'Catch-Up Costs'

Past pension underfunding takes amount equal to 40% of school payrolls

Michigan’s public school employee pension system is $33.8 billion short of the amount officials estimate it needs to meet the pension promises made to employees, as of 2019.

What does that mean to a specific individual employee?

West Ottawa Public Schools Superintendent Tom Martin made $240,829 in 2019, according to the district website.

In that same year, the district made a $100,041 mandatory retirement contribution on behalf of Martin’s salary to help catch up on the underfunding of the Michigan Public Schools Employees Retirement System pension.

That’s about the cost of an assistant principal salary in the district.

School districts have to pay 40% of all compensation of a public school employee back to MPSERS to make up for past underfunding. The average salary of a West Ottawa district teacher was $68,078 in 2018-19. That means the district would pay $27,231, on average, to MPSERS for each of its 423 full-time teachers.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.