June 2017

Bobby Bonilla, a former baseball star, gets paid around $1.2 million every July 1st. Surprisingly his story relates to millions of teachers.
All teachers deserve a secure retirement. But under today’s current teacher retirement savings plans, more than half of all new educators won’t qualify for even a minimal pension benefit. We took a state-by-state look at public teacher retirement plans, and the findings were dismal.
California' legislature recently approved a onetime payment of $1 billion for the state's school districts. However, it won't translate into a real increase in district budgets since those funds are hardly enough to cover burgeoning pension costs.
Michigan is about to adopt legislation that would enroll new teachers in a portable defined contribution plan, with a shorter vesting period and more money going toward teacher retirements. That will cost the state a bit more money, but it's a win for teachers.
New Jersey's public employee pension fund faces a fiscal crisis. The candidates for Governor need to put forth serious plans to address the state's pension woes should they win election. Each candidate's plans have some strong features. However, they best solution would take elements from each.
Over the last 15 years, teacher salaries have risen less than inflation, but insurance and retirement costs have risen much faster.
After we created a rubric to grade state teacher retirement plans, we found a mostly depressing picture: States have set up expensive, debt-ridden systems where most teachers fail to qualify for decent retirement benefits.