(NEWS CENTER) -- The state of Maine owes more than four billion dollars to the state retirement fund. That debt will consume an ever larger share of the state budget. State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and Maine State Employees Association Executive Director Chris Quint go In the Arena to talk about the serious challenges posed by the unfunded liability.
Roughly 26,500 teachers and 14,000 state employees pay into the system. Earnings from the fund help pay benefits to the current 27,500 retirees. The State/Teacher fund amounts to more than ten billion dollars, which is not enough to meet all future costs. The Maine constitution mandates that the entire liability be paid off by 2028. Some have suggested extending that deadline to ease the yearly burden
Gov. Paul LePage has proposed cutting costs by freezing retirees cost of living allowances for three years and then capping increases at 2% per year. He also wants to raise the state worker and teacher retirement age to 65 for workers not yet vested.