Saturday, January 17, 2015

Will New Teachers Make It To Their Retirement Age? Probably Not.


































The attack on teachers in the last two decades has been unrelenting as politicians, the media, and people like Gates, Broad, and Bloomberg want to eliminate teacher rights.  Even New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo has demanded that the teacher evaluation system be strengthened so that up to 10% of the State's teachers be rated "ineffective" and terminated.  From all sides public education is attacked as education reformers and their corporate allies want to privatize the schools, be in charters, online, or voucher schools.  With this massive onslaught against public education and the teachers who provide instruction, let's look at the chances that a newly appointed 25 year old teacher makes it to full retirement age.

A non-profit  group called the Bellwether Education Partners published a study called "Friends Without Benefits" that showed that only 19.7% of all teachers are expected to make it to their retirement age.  In some States like Maine, only 1.8% of the teachers are expected to make it to their retirement age while the best state, California expects 48.2% of their teachers to retire at their retirement age.  Even just to be "vested" and receive a minimal pension is difficult in many states.  Nationally, only 44.5% of the teachers work long enough to be vested with Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Hawaii having only one out of four teachers being "vested".

While the numbers are pretty dismal for the States, the urban area results are downright terrible.  The Conservative Manhattan Institute published a study called "Better Pay, Fairer Pensions" that included the projected percentage of new teachers making it to their retirement age in the ten largest urban school districts. The Table below shows the expected percentage of new teachers that will make it to their retirement age.

City                           Teachers Making It To Retirement Age

New York City.....................................33%
Las Vegas..........................................20%
Philadelphia........................................7%
Los Angeles........................................6%
Honolulu.............................................5%
Washington D.C. .................................4%
Chicago..............................................4%
Houston..............................................3%
Miami.................................................1%
Tampa................................................1%

Interestingly, new teachers in New York City have a higher probably of reaching their retirement age than the State average (29.2%) which either means that the data is faulty or that the study assumes that the superior health and welfare benefits attached to the pension for New York City teachers as well as the fifteen year vesting requirement encourages many of the remaining teachers to stick it out until they reach the retirement age.  For the remaining urban areas, outside New York City and Los Vegas, the percentage of teachers reaching retirement age is dismal and in the single digits.  Even just making it to be vested is low with less than one in five teachers being vested in Washington D.C. (18.8%).

To make matters worse, in fifteen states, teachers are not eligible for Social Security and if they don't receive a full pension, then they jeopardize their retirement.  This is a dilemma and why the education reformers like the "fifth columnist" Educators for Excellence and the Conservative Manhattan Institute advocates for a portable pension system (401K) for teachers.  However, teaching has never been a short-term job and despite the many roadblocks that politicians and their education reformer allies try to impose on the teaching profession, it still should remain as a life-long position, complete with retirement benefits and adequate health care.

In New York City, even if you are to believe that 33% of the new Tier VI teachers will make it to their full retirement age of 63 (I don't), that means that 67% will have left the system before reaching the holy grail, a properly funded pension.


28 comments:

Anonymous said...

QUESTION: If I teach in NYC for my entire career but have been living in Connecticut, will I get social security if I retire in Connecticut?

Chaz said...

You will get full Social Security since you work as a teacher in NYS.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, so awesome. Just read on Chalkbeat that the Network leaders and other dumb titled personnel, are jumping ship prior to next Thursdays announcement of school governance. The main problem everyone is laughing at is that these "same ol" network people are just switching titles to things like "principal advisor" or "deputy superintendent". It's the same people in different titles. AH HAHA HA HA HAAA HA. LOVE IT!

Anonymous said...

If a teacher takes a year long study sabbatical, does that year count as a year of service toward retirement?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. I am really impressed that you were able to put all these elements together to come up with a clear and simple explanation.

I am shocked how few teachers nationwide will make it to their retirement age. This is one of your best articles yet when it comes to our profession.

Jerome'smom said...

Eventually,there will be no benefit to teaching long term; People will use it as a stepping stone to something better.

Anonymous said...

Thanks chaz. You would think that our union would brag about the retention issue, compared to other urban areas but I guess they're too busy selling us out to the Governor and Regents.

Bronx ATR said...

No one ( 0%) going into teaching now will make it to retirement. I think the system we now have will be gone in 5 years. Mulgrew can tweet his bald head off - it's way too little, way too late. It's really a comically surreal response to what may become the demise of NYC public schools. Get out before the next mayoral election.

Anonymous said...

Eric...

You da' man!

Guiermo

Anonymous said...

Yes

retired teacher said...

to 11:46 - A sabbatical counts towards retirement. You are paid a partial salary (60% if I remember correctly.)So all the deductions are taken out.

Take the sabbatical - it's a good time to be away from the chaos for a year.

Anonymous said...

11:46 AM

Yes, a sabbatical counts toward longevity and salary bumps.

Anonymous said...

I believe Sabbaticals are pensionable.

Anonymous said...

Can tier 4 retire at 55 with 30 years? Please say yes because there's in way I'm making it to 63.

Anonymous said...

I loved the article. I do believe however the retirement system will end for future teachers; and maybe that's a good thing. There will probably be a matching 403b or 401k at first. They'll match 3-6% and then eventually 10-years down the road there will be no match.

For the older teachers(10 years plus) we should all hope the system status quo continues with Tier VI, they will pay in and never get anything back, making our retirement stronger.

Chaz said...

Sabbaticals are counted in your pension time.

All Tier 4 people can retire as young as 55 with 30 years of service.

Anonymous said...

I'm 44 and definitely making it to 55. The plan is to:
A. Pass all my students
B. Buy X-mas gifts for my supervisors
C. Participate in a few extra BS things
D. Nod my head at PD meetings like I understand what's going on

If you follow these simple 4 steps, you will make it and have the prize. Imagine your 60-65% pension on $140K +++ TDA. I will be living better than my doctor.

Anonymous said...

To 8:42,
Sounds like a good plan in the current environment, but it will be changing quickly. Cuomo, et. al will be looking at those teachers who are passing everyone and the principals who have those teachers. Those schools will be swept cleaned as prime examples of educational neglect. You'd be better off doing your ethical and legal responsibility. You might end up as an ATR, but you'll still have a job. You still have a little while to grow a spine.

Anonymous said...

Chazz, can you explain exactly how the 25/55 system works and why it was implemented? I will have 27 years of service when I retire at age 55. (I am 43 years old now) I know that I am enrolled in it as I got letter from the DOE 5 or 6 years ago stating that I am in it. However, many of the teachers at my school do not know much about it. I believe that you had to sign up for it and it was only for tier 4 teachers. Any info on this would be appreciated!

ed notes online said...

Great work Chaz. Some teachers are telling me they are for the first time thinking of becoming an Asst Principal or an out of classroom position in order to survive. That is funny to me in that in my first year of teaching in 1967-8 older colleagues advised us to have a way out - which helped determine my masters - in reading which was an out of classroom position at the time.

Chaz said...

The 25/55 program was implemented in 2008 and if you were on payroll, they took out an additional 1.85% to be part of 25/55. For people who were tier iv after that date, the DOE automatically enrolled you into the 25/55 program.

Tier V and VI cannot apply for the 25/55 (really 25/57) program.

Anonymous said...

Why is it 25/57? My understanding is that if you have 25 years or more of service you can retire at 55

Chaz said...

Oops, sorry, I meant to say 27/55 for all new Tier IV members hired after the 25/55 was put into effect.

Anonymous said...

I will have 30 years effective October 2015, but I feel that I can work another 2-3 years to increase my pension, TDA, etc. I can't see working longer than 2017 and I'll use my terminal leave to increase my time employed. My program's policies and current administration are dysfuntional to say the least. OSI is presently investigating our principal for improprieties. We have Assitant Pricipals who doen't know the job and ass kiss
our corrupt principal.

Anonymous said...

Great post. All the information I always wanted to know and now you put it into one chart. I assume you created it?

Chaz said...

Anon 12:22

Yes, I took four different reports and put the chart together for the article and thanks.

Anonymous said...



Sorry to be a boorish pig, but they can lock me in a room and piss on me for $100K/yr! I ain't going no where!

Anonymous said...

I am somewhat confused as I teach in Florida and pay 3% toward my retirement and my district pays an additional 3% as part of my salary package. So why does this say Florida has 0%. The entire retirement issue is confusing to me. I really feel as a servant to the state and federal mandates, which are unfunded, that I must die next to my garbage can on garbage day to save my family the expense of burial, as I will never be able to afford retirement.