Senate leader: New Michigan pension plan would have debt 'safeguards'

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican legislative leaders are finalizing more pieces of a tentative deal to restructure Michigan's teacher retirement system to coax new employees into a 401(k)-only plan.
They reported progress after meeting Tuesday. The talks may resume in the afternoon and are tied to completing the next state budget.
A key issue is how a pension option could be closed to newly hired teachers in the future.
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says "safeguards" are needed so closure could occur if the system becomes underfunded and employees could pay more to help shore it up.
New school workers currently qualify for a blended pension-401(k) plan. Under the plan being finalized, new hires would default into a 401(k) unless they pay more toward their pension than current employees do.

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