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      Michigan Tech President protests cost of Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System

      Michigan Technological University President Glenn Mroz testified in Lansing Tuesday.

      According to Tech, the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) cost Michigan Tech $5.75 million.

      Tech said the university opted out of MPSERS in 1996, and no employee hired since then has had the option to join the retirement system.

      "We are required to pay for employees who would have been in MPSERS, even though they could not join, have not joined and will never receive a dime in benefits from the program," said Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz.

      Over the past decade, state appropriations to Michigan Tech have dropped 24 percent, while the cost to students of higher education, particularly in the sciences, technology and engineering, has skyrocketed. The fiscal pain is compounded by having to return nearly $6 million of a shrinking state appropriation to meet the University's MPSRS requirement, Mroz said.

      Tech said the law was thought to be amended by the legislature with a capping of part of the MPSERS payments, but the Retirement Services chose not to apply that cap to the MPSERS universities.

      Tech's president says the university would save $3.6 million if they were treated the same as K-12 districts and community colleges.