ShareThis Page
Pension woes not teachers’ fault |

Pension woes not teachers’ fault

| Tuesday, June 28, 2016 9:00 p.m

The letter, “ Teachers to blame for state pension woes ” (June 23) contained several inaccuracies. Unless a person begins teaching at age 20, it is impossible by age 55 to obtain the 35 years required for full retirement. In most districts, older teachers do not make $100,000. A 2008 Kiski Area retiree, I would be earning nowhere near that figure were I still teaching today. In addition, a teacher with just 30 years of service must be at least age 60 to receive a full pension. That pension would be based on 75 percent – not 80 percent – of the average of the top three years, provided the teacher had elected the 7.5 percent deduction from each paycheck for the 2.5 percent multiplier, rather than 6.25 percent for the 2 percent multiplier. Expecting older teachers to retire so that recent graduates can be hired smacks of age discrimination. It also demeans the value of older teachers who can share with younger colleagues and students the insights and wisdom gained through life experiences, not just the pages of a textbook. The current shortfall in pension funding is not the fault of older teachers refusing to retire. Instead, it comes from the almost 10-year period when our state legislature allowed school districts a “pension holiday” because the system was in such good shape, having been funded at over 100 percent from 1997-2002. Despite this, teachers paid their pension obligations in full. Had districts done the same, the Great Recession wouldn’t have taken nearly as great a toll on the Public School Employees Retirement System.

Susan Gero


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.