Pay More for AR Legislator Benefits?

The very first Concurrent Resolution filed for the session of the Arkansas legislature beginning in January wants federal benefits for legislators and for taxpayers to pay more in support of those benefits.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 was filed by Senator Larry Teague, a Democrat. We suspect SCR 1 is something most Arkansas legislators want passed. We would not be surprised if Senator Teague is carrying the bill because someone in the Republican super majority said, “Hey, let’s get a Democrat to sponsor it.

Many years ago, Arkansas state Senators and Representatives were given the option whether to have their legislative salaries covered by Social Security.  At the time legislator salaries were very low and they decided not to have their salaries covered by the Social Security System because they didn’t want to pay Social Security taxes on their salaries.

But legislator salaries were more than doubled a few years ago and they have received several increases since.  After getting higher salaries some could see how inclusion of their legislative salaries could really help increase their Social Security benefits.  Plus, a new breed of legislators came along who basically have no job other than being in the legislature, and they are certainly interested in building up Social Security benefits by including legislative salary.

After ten years of service, legislators vest in the state retirement system. Social Security benefits would be in addition to that.

If the legislature opts to have their salaries covered by Social Security, legislators will have to pay a 6.2% Social Security tax out of their salaries.

But you, the taxpayer, will also have to contribute to their Social Security coverage. Why? Because the state, as an employer, will have to contribute an additional amount equal to 6.2% of legislative salaries if the legislators become covered by Social Security.

Some legislators love to talk about “revenue neutral legislation” when they give us a tax cut BUT then raise other taxes to keep taking the same amount of taxes or more.  So, we wonder…..will the legislature make this legislation “revenue neutral legislation” by having their salaries reduced by 6.2% to offset the extra amount the state will pay once legislator salaries are covered by Social Security?

Don’t be silly. It will end up costing taxpayers more for their benefits.


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