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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • CCRTA hosts special guests

  • The Cleburne County Retired Teachers Association hosted special guests at a called meeting December 1st at the Rustic Inn
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  • The Cleburne County Retired Teachers Association hosted special guests at a called meeting December 1st at the Rustic Inn.  State Representative Elect Josh Miller who will represent District 66, Bethany  Miller, wife of Josh Miller, and Mr. Steve Singleton, Executive Director of the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association were welcomed by Dr. Laverne Penn. Dr. Penn, president of the CCRTA Unit and Oneta Williams arranged for the special guests to address concerns by local Arkansas Teacher Retirement System members.
    Mr. Miller spoke about having an open mind to issues that may arise for consideration at the legislative session beginning January 2013.  He stated that his first responsibility is to obtain knowledge, then move forward.   He assured the members of the CCRTA that he felt it was his responsibility and/or duty to shore up systems that folks had paid into all their lives. Mr. Miller said that one of the persons present at the meeting had made sure he advanced to the next grade. He is grateful to teachers and all they do.  At the conclusion of Mr. Miller’s talk, he extended Mr. John Payton’s apologies for not being present as he had intended.
    Dr. Penn thanked Mr. Miller for coming to the meeting then introduced Mr. Singleton who spoke about the possible changes to the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System that could be necessary if the economy does not improve.  At this time even with the current economic downturn, there are sufficient funds to meet the obligations of the System and the current retirees. The Executive Director of ATRS, Mr. George Hopkins, is concerned about some school employees are not contributing to the System but can receive benefits when they retire.  There is some concern about the ATRS Board of Trustees being changed from its current composition.
    Because the ATRS must have legislative approval to make any changes to the System and how it operates, Mr. Hopkins is looking for cost cutting practices to aid in keeping the retirement system sound.  For important and current updates to the ATRS, a website at ARTANOW.com is available.   Both Mr. Miller and Mr. Singleton addressed questions from the CCRTA members before the meeting adjourned.

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