McBroom votes to end lawmaker perk

State Rep. Ed McBroom today voted in favor of a measure eliminating retirement health care benefits for Michigan legislators.

House Bill 4087 ends a retirement healthcare program that has covered former legislators after age 55.

“It was a privilege to finally vote, once and for all, to end continuing health care coverage for former legislators,” said McBroom, R-Vulcan. “I was surprised it wasn’t gone when I started serving because I had heard the previous Legislature had removed it for all incoming members. However, it turned out the changes ultimately accomplishing nothing.

“That is not the case after today. The perk will now be eliminated for most lawmakers currently serving, once the governor signs it.”

Any lawmaker not already vested in the program by Jan. 1, 2013 will be affected by the bill. They will receive no retirement health care benefits from the state.

“It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to get agreement to remove it completely for everyone,” McBroom said. “Still, it is a privilege to me to be part of fixing this benefit that is so out of step with the real world.”

This change limits most lawmakers and all future lawmakers solely to their 401K contributions upon retirement, as the pension system for legislators ended in 1997.