Retired Teachers' Week Nov. 2-8
Last updated 10/30/2008 at Noon
The level of confusion and misunderstanding in the debate over public pensions is very disturbing. Many people seem to think that teachers, police, firefighters and other public workers receive their pensions as a “free” benefit.
The fact of the matter is that all public workers pay into their retirement. Teachers pay approximately eight percent of their salary, much higher than the rate private sector workers pay for Social Security. Since teachers aren’t eligible for Social Security, their CalSTRS pension is their only guaranteed income in retirement. Public pensions are certainly a topic for discussion. But let’s hope that that discussion is one that is fully informed of all the facts.
Retired teachers continue to be busy volunteering to help the community. Statewide, California Retired Teacher’s Association’s 52,000 members volunteered 2.4 million hours this year. This is worth $48 million that families, businesses and the state did not have to pay for services.
If you can balance your checkbook, thank a teacher.