Teachers have paid a heavy price. Robert Costrell of the University of Arkansas has calculated that the nation’s school districts spent an average of $1,312 per student for teacher retirement benefits in 2018, up from $530 in 2004, an increase of some $39 billion or nearly $12,000 per teacher. If that money went into teacher salaries, the average U.S. teacher’s pay would increase by nearly 20 percent.

Your pension is part of your pay. That is, teachers’ pay is already higher by that 20% that is the pension.

16 thoughts on “Err, Hello?”

  1. Well, of course. That includes the personal contributions and employer contributions. And it’s part of the contract between the employer and the employee. So it’s no good moaning that such-and-such a category of employee has a pension that you couldn’t afford to provide for yourself, because it was paid for essentially by foregoing salary and/or other benefits that would have had to be paid to attract said employee.

  2. The silliness in this article is amazing. According to the article, States are contributing 23% of teachers’ pay to their pension plans. How many of you are getting 23%? They simultaneously bemoan the plans’ underfunding and the large contributions being made to catch up. Second, they want States to lower the expected rates of return on their investments, that will increase the underfunding and increase the required contributions, which the authors think is bad because this money should be going into teacher pay.

    They are correct that the traditional pension plans used in most states provide little or no benefits to most teachers, but they pay off extremely well for the 30-40% who are lifers. The authors seem to have missed the fact that teacher unions fight tooth and nail any effort to reform teacher retirement plans, even though every proposal grandfathers current teachers’ benefits.

  3. Surreptitious Evil

    So it’s no good moaning that such-and-such a category of employee has a pension that you couldn’t afford to provide for yourself, because it was paid for essentially by foregoing salary and/or other benefits that would have had to be paid to attract said employee.

    Really? In the _public sector_?

    I’ve worked for two organisations for an extended period – one was a government department where I was a junior manager; the other a bank where I was a senior manager. Length of pensionable service was similar. My public sector pension, with a no-sacrifice 3x annual amount lump sum, will be 25% more than my (very good) bank pension where I earned roughly double what I did at the end of my government time.

  4. So it’s no good moaning that such-and-such a category of employee has a pension that you couldn’t afford to provide for yourself,

    I think you might have your pronouns a bit off. As one of the taxpayers who has to pay for this shit, I’m damn well going to complain that government-sector workers get gold-plated pensions that I can’t afford to provide for myself.

    I’m very close to the point that I want the states to go bankrupt, the pension funds not to be made whole in the bankruptcy proceedings, and the government-sector workers to wind up starving and living under bridges.

  5. As private sector pensions have collapsed the gold plated public sector deals look like an outrageous social injustice. I appreciate that final salary guaranteed inflation indexed pensions are being phased but if you were able to buy such thing commercially it would cost you more like your entire salary than 20%.
    Public sector pensions are often called funded.They are only funded in the sense there is a fund. That fund does not cover its liabilities, and is topped up yearly out of current taxation, additionally to the moneys diverted form the education budget itself.
    Lets say I am wrong ( which of course I am not ). Ok then lets take the existing pensions and obtain quoted for annual Premiums for the like benefit.
    Lets establish the cash cost of the pensions and instead of providing it add it to the salary teachers, increasing, shall we say, a £30,000 salary to about £50,000. They then have the option to purchase a pension or not,like anyone else, subject to as minimal employers contribution, like anyone else.
    Lets then see how easy it would be to recruit twice the teachers you need and let that salary float down. If anyone imagines for one second the Teaching unions would let anyone see what their members are actually getting …they need to think again.
    They would have a fit, this writer has opened a can of worms and not the one he thinks he has opened .

  6. ‘Robert Costrell of the University of Arkansas has calculated that the nation’s school districts spent an average of $1,312 per student for teacher retirement benefits in 2018’

    What a strange construct. WTF does this have to do with students?

    $12,000 per teacher? /$1,312 = 9.14 students per teacher.

    I think I see the problem.

  7. Dennis, Pointing Out The Obvious

    Washington Monthly and Slate in one day. You need a Spud post, Timmy, to get yourself the daily trifecta.

  8. Public sector pensions are often called funded.They are only funded in the sense there is a fund.

    Newmania, that it is not what that means and you know it. I think. Well, everyone else knows it.

  9. Public-sector pensions are paid out of current taxation, and that’s a political problem. We are spending rising in every department, whether healthcare or education or defence, yet outcomes are no better because all of the increase (or more!) is absorbed by higher pension costs.

    This is swept under the rug when spending is at the national level, as in the UK; but in the U.S. every little local town has to balance their police and education budget, so it’s a lot more apparent.

  10. Public-sector pensions are paid out of current taxation, and that’s a political problem.

    Some are, some aren’t. In general, public sector bodies establish pension funds, and usually underfund them, like private bodies did befreo they moved away from defined benefit plans. It wold be very unusual, though, for such a plan to be completely unfunded, so the current pensions are paid from a mix of past employee contributions, past taxation (via employer contributions), and current taxation.

  11. Is . . . is this silly person suggesting that teachers shouldn’t get pensions but be paid that money up front and then allowed to manage it as they wish?

    That would upend the very foundations upon which government is built!

  12. The problem with teachers isn’t the cost of their pensions, the problem is the bonkers habits with which they replaced the older idea that a school was for education. So the blame is shared – educationists, teachers, teachers unions, politicians. Nothing there that a good machine-gunning couldn’t solve.

    Dunno about the US but the rot set in in Britain in the 60s.

  13. Pension vs Direct Wages for teachers. Combined they are already too high, often wages alone are too high. The US Dpt of Labor considers US public teachers to not be full time jobs. None-the-less, perhaps one vs the other (wages vs pension) is easier to cut.

    Personally, I’d like to give parents the full per-student cost in vouchers to use for any school, public or private, and give the teachers of each school the entire school & they sink or swim based upon $’s earned from attending students. I’d also let the teachers of each school decide how much if any they want to contribute to local, state & Federal school organizations so those organizations can only exist if they provide value to the schools.

  14. Things were still very good in my town in the late 60s. The beginning of forced busing in 1971 marked the change. The end of schools focusing on EDUCATION.

  15. ‘States would also help themselves by recognizing that the current workforce is more mobile and that teachers are less likely to stay in education, much less start and finish their careers in a single state’s classrooms. South Dakota provides a high degree of pension portability, permitting teachers to take a large portion of their employers’ contributions with them if they move out of state, keeping teachers on a path to retirement security.’

    How the fvck would this help the states? These people are Guardian stupid.

    And ‘workforce is more mobile’ is a euphimism for the Left has so trashed the schools that no one will stay there anymore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *