Negotiations between NSO/AFSE/NEASO and NEA over modifying the NEA Pension Plan Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will resume on August 30 at 9 a.m.. Previous bargaining sessions produced no agreement by the teams’ self-imposed deadline of May 27.
The current MOU guarantees that NEA will fully fund the Plan by 2021. A new MOU would continue NEA’s committment and assure the promise of a secure retirement into the future for members of the 15 NSO affiliates covered under the Plan. In addition, there had been discussion at the bargaining table over what happens when the MOU requires employers to increase their contributions next year.
All parties share some basic concerns. No funding obligation exists after 2022, and since 2008, contribution rates have been impacted by market losses on investments, among other factors. Before bargaining ended, all parties agreed to recommend a 2017 rate to the Pension Board that would reduce any rate hike dictated by the current MOU.
NSO President Brad Darjean said, “An agreement that enhances the Plan’s funding level (ratio) is part of the solution to the problem. It would provide long-term financial security and avoid future rate spikes.”
The next meeting of the NEA Pension Board is scheduled for September. if a successor MOU is not reached, the Pension Board will have to readdress the rate for 2017.