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Parkway Teachers' Early Retirement Incentive Plan Under Review

The Parkway School Board is considering delaying the review of the district's Early Retirement Incentive Plan while it waits for the Missouri State Legislature to make a decision on pensions.

The Parkway School Board is considering a delay in reviewing the district's early retirement incentive policy. 

The Parkway School District's current policy allows early retirment for teachers with between 25 and 31 years of credited service in the Missouri Public School Retirment System and at least 10 years with the Parkway School District. 

The program, in its current from, is set to expire in 2014 and is scheduled for review this year.

However, according to district's CFO Mark Stockwell, the board is now considering delaying the review of the district's early retirment policy as it waits to see what the Missouri Legislature decides about a clause in the state's teachers' retirement plan.

"There's a section in the (state's) retirement system that, without action by the legislature, it will end at the end of June," Stockwell tells Patch. He said the clause that is scheduled to end June 30 would increase Missouri teachers' pensions by a small amount if they have over 31 years of service. Stockwell said most thought the clause would be allowed to expire, but now there are bills out there to extend it. "Basically the legislature can either extend it or let it go away."

Stockwell said there is now support to extend the state clause because the retirement system's actuary found that it's financially beneficial to the state retirement system that the clause be extended. It was found to be advantageous because the increase is so minimal that if teachers work longer, it's less time they draw their pension.

Stockwell said since it's still unclear whether the state's clause is going to be extended it doesn't make sense for the Parkway School Board to review the district's retirement plan at this time. He said there will likely be no decision from the state until May.

"The current Parkway teachers' contract calls for the retirement incentive to be reviewed this year, and this change that's being made (by the school board) basically delays that review until next fall," Stockwell said. "We'll know what's going to happen with a potential change with the Missouri teacher retirement system at that point."

The Parkway School Board could vote to delay the review and extend the current early retirement plan at the next board meeting in February. 

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