What the FACTS Reveal about Teacher Retirement Programs—Part 6 of 6

11 Jun

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When I retired, the school district stopped paying me and saved the tax payers money since most teachers that retire after teaching 30 years or more are replaced by younger teachers that are paid much less.

Keeping older, higher paid teachers working longer will only cost the taxpayer more in the long run since those same teachers that are working longer will end up with a larger monthly pension check since the longer a teacher spends in the classroom, the larger the pension.

I’m impressed when a reporter does their job properly and balances the news instead of feeding the mob that bellies up to the slop-trough of Yellow Journalism, which is based on sensationalism and crude exaggerations.

Don Thompson’s misleading AP piece, Public retirement ages come under greater scrutiny did not impress me.

This is the summary of Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers by Ellen E. Schultz.

However, Kevin G. Hall did.  Hall writes for the The McClatchy Company, the third-largest newspaper publisher in the United States with 31 daily newspapers in 15 states. Hall provided a more realistic, honest balance of Why employee pensions aren’t bankrupting states.

In his piece, Hall wrote, “From state legislatures to Congress to tea party rallies, a vocal backlash is rising against what are perceived as too-generous retirement benefits for state and local government workers. However, that widespread perception doesn’t match reality.”

According the Hall, “Pension contributions from state and local employers aren’t blowing up budgets.” They amount to just 2.9 – 3.8 percent of state spending, on average.

In addition, Hall says, “Nor are state and local government pension funds broke. They’re underfunded …”

With those facts, we should ask what the real reason is why the far-right hate groups are turning on public-worker sector pension plans.

The answer may be Wall Street, Hedge Funds and US bank private-sector greed, the same risk-taking greed with someone else’s money that caused the 2007-08 global financial crises.

According The Council on State Governments, in 2006 before the crash, the total amount of money held by these federal, state and local public-pension plans was almost $6 trillion dollars, and greed—it seems—has no limits.

If you do not believe me, ask people such as Bernard Madoff [who robbed his victims of $50 billion], Scott Rothstein [$1.2 billion], Tom Peters [$3.7 billion], Allen Stanford [$8 billion], March Dreier [$400 million], Lou Pearlman [$500 million], Michael Kelly [$428 million], the Greater Ministries International Church [$500 million], Scientology minister Reed Slatkin [more than $600 million], and Nicholas Cosmo [$370 million].

Return to Part 5 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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3 responses to “What the FACTS Reveal about Teacher Retirement Programs—Part 6 of 6

  1. educationunderattack

    June 11, 2015 at 13:00

    I agree – the media never talks about the taxpayer savings when veteran teachers retire and are replaced with teachers being paid 40-75% less per year. Whatever retirement incentives given to teachers at the top of the salary scale were quickly paid back when the retiree is replaced with a teacher just coming into the district at the bottom of the salary schedule.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      June 11, 2015 at 18:38

      To be vested in the CalSTRS retirement plan, you have to teach full time at least five years, and with the turnover rate, the actual number of teachers who make it to that 5 years does not equal the total number of teachers.

      Nationally, the average turnover for all teachers is 17 percent, and in urban school districts specifically, the number jumps to 20 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future proffers starker numbers, estimating that one-third of all new teachers leave after three years, and 46 percent are gone within five years.

      That means 46% or about 1.5 million teachers left the teaching profession before they were vested in the teacher retirement program and they will never collect a dime. I understand that because they left early, the money they paid into the system will be paid back to them, but I have no idea what happens to the district and state’s share. I do know that money does not go to the teachers who left. They are only eligible for the 8% (or more) that they paid in.

      As long as this turnover rates stays fairly constant and, in fact, it has been increasing because of Bill Gates and his Common Core Crap agenda and the army of RheeFormers he enables constantly eating away at the public schools like termites invading a house, that means almost half of all teachers never make it to retirement and new teachers keep entering the profession and many of them will also never qualify for retirement. The teacher retirement system then only has to pay 54% of the total number of teachers in the country because the rest leave before are part of the retirement system.

  2. drext727

    June 11, 2015 at 19:07


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