Snyder: Moving teachers to 401(k) may cost less than thought

Sibley Elementary puppet workshop
A teacher explains how to use an iPad to translate words into pictures as part of the visual storytelling workshop at Sibley Elementary. (Grand Rapids Public Schools)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says transition and other costs that would come with closing the pension system to newly hired teachers may be lower than estimated previously.

The Republican governor told reporters Monday he is “always open-minded” to discussions with lawmakers. GOP legislative leaders are pushing to end a hybrid pension-401(k) plan that new school employees qualify for and instead give new hires a 401(k) only.

Snyder has been resistant previously, citing large upfront costs associated with closing a pension plan.

But he says there is new data showing that the costs of such a switch “might be somewhat less, but we’re still making determinations of what those may be.”

A legislative analysis of past legislation estimated costs ranging from $1.6 billion to $3.8 billion in the first five years.