Legislature approves municipal retirement funding bills

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Bills designed to get a handle on municipalities’ underfunded employee retirement benefits are going to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for his expected signature.

The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the legislation Tuesday, after removing contentious provisions last week.

Communities will have to set aside money for retirement health costs for employees hired after June 30, 2018. The state treasurer annually will determine the funding status of each local government’s retirement plans. Those not meeting minimum funding thresholds or not getting a waiver will submit corrective actions to a new Municipal Stability Board appointed by the governor.

The board will approve or reject plans – but not be empowered to force changes.

Supporters say many local governments have already taken steps to address their liabilities, and the bills will help those that haven’t.

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