Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Can Teachers Lose Their Pension?
Detective Daniel Pantaleo lost his pension because he didn't have 20 years in the pension system as a New York City police officer (he had 13 years). Mr. Pantaleo can only recover the money he contributed to his pension and no more. The question is can teachers lose their pension?
The short answer is that teachers cannot lose their pension, once vested except for some extraordinary circumstances. For example, unless a teacher agrees to lose his or her pension, due to criminal charges in a plea deal or the teacher became vested for a pension but was not entitled to a pension due to fraud. Otherwise, any teacher who resigns or are terminated, if they meet the vesting requirements, will receive a pension at age 55 at the earliest.
Unfortunately, 33% of New York City teachers (mostly Tier IV) are vested for a pension while the percentage is far lower for Tier VI teachers due to the good economy that encourages younger teachers to leave the profession and the lack of respect for teachers. Add to that the poor school leadership, the reduction in pensions, and the overwhelming paperwork and the use of Danielson makes teaching in the New York City public schools an unappetizing job.
Therefore, teachers who meet the vesting requirements of between 5 and 10 years, depending when they started your teaching career, have nothing to fear about losing their pension.