New Fiscal Pressures From Teacher Retirement System

July 2, 2003 - Posted at: 10:28 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The state's teacher retirement system has decided to increase what it charges school districts with the new fiscal year.

This spring, the Legislature passed a bill allowing for the increase. The system's board yesterday raised the percentage of employee payroll charged to school districts from 12 to 13 percent.

Officials estimate the increase will cost school districts about $16 million more a year. System director David Malone says school districts will start paying it in September.

Education administrators say the higher rate likely means smaller teacher raises.

The retirement system has assets of about $7 billion and includes $76,000 working members and $20,000 retirees.

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