Newly hired Michigan public school employees would pay more for their pensions and no longer receive state-provided health coverage in retirement under legislation approved Wednesday and headed to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk, the Associated Press reports. The Republican-controlled state Senate and House approved a measure that officials say would cut more than $15 billion from a $45 billion liability on the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System. The reductions include a $130 million contribution by the state toward retirement costs. That funding, along with the 3 percent contributions school employees are required to make, would significantly decrease the retirement system’s shortfall. Also under the bill, new public school hires would get a match of up to 2 percent plus a lump sum upon retirement to pay for health insurance. Retired employees covered by state-provided insurance would pay at least 20 percent of their premiums. Still, the measure does not take another step favored by some in the Republican majority and a centerpiece of previously passed Senate legislation: scrapping pensions for new hires and pushing them into a 401 (k)-style retirement plan…

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staff and wire services reports