Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Clearing up misconceptions on teachers' pensions

As a retired teacher, I would like to clear up some misconceptions on a few points regarding teachers’ pensions.

Many people seem to think that teachers receive their pensions as a “free” benefit when in fact they pay into their own retirement account.

The average retired teacher paid into his/her retirement for more than 26 years and receives less than $2,700 per month in benefits.

Unlike corporate workers, teachers are required to contribute to their own pensions (usually eight percent) to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), which is a higher than the rate private workers pay for Social Security.

In general, teachers are not eligible for Social Security so their CalSTRS pension is their only income in retirement. Few teachers receive medical benefits, if any at all, from their school districts.

Teachers don’t enter this profession to get rich. However, they make contributions in good faith, were promised a pension in return and should be able to depend on this modest retirement income.

Please do not “lump” our retirement program with those of other public employee pensions or school administrator pensions.

Thank you for this opportunity to present the facts.


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