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University of Missouri president wants to freeze salaries, require employee retirement contributions

By Matt Sepic/Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis – The president of the University of Missouri is proposing changes that could take money out of the pockets of the system's 17,000 full-time employees.

Gary Forsee will ask the university system's curators this week to require full-time workers who earn $50 thousand or less to make a mandatory one-percent pre-tax contribution to their retirement plan. Those making more than $50 thousand would have to pay two-percent of their salary. UM Human Resources administrator Betsy Rodriguez says the change is necessary.

"We're taking this as kind of pre-emptive measure to try to reduce our costs going forward and most importantly to cap some of the long-term liability that we have on a plan like the retirement plan," she said.

Forsee also wants to freeze next year's salaries for all employees at 2009's levels. And he wants curators to give him the ability to initiate employee furloughs depending on the university's state funding this year.