July 24, 2015

Coming Attractions – Pensions!

By Bellwether

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I’m going to take a summer break from blogging for a couple of weeks.  Up to a few things including the Pan Mass Challenge, baseball, and fishing!

While I’m gone Leslie Kan and Chad Aldeman of Teacherpensions.org will be posting blog posts here about the teacher pension issue. Although the issue of teacher pensions is frequently presented as some battle between greedy teachers and stingy reformers this political framing misses the real issues and why genuine pension reform is so complicated. In fact, the current approaches work for very few teachers. Only about one in five teachers even earns a full pension. So not exactly “gold-plated” for most. Meanwhile the cost issues are adversely affecting school districts and municipalities. But neither the status quo nor a straight 401(k) style system is an adequate answer. It’s a lot more complicated than that. And that complexity leads to political dodges and means that right now it’s new teachers who are bearing the brunt of the cost of reform in some ways that are not only lousy education policy but lousy retirement policy as well. 40 percent of teachers, yes forty, also don’t participate in Social Security because of state and local policies – that further hampers secure retirement for educators. You can learn more about all of that by following along the next couple of weeks here.

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