‘No One Is Above the Law’: Divisive Trump Surrogate Carl Paladino Removed From Buffalo School Board

Veto Override Uncertain as Fight Over Funding Illinois Schools Moves to the House

Noble Network of Charter Schools: It’s Not Just About Going to College, but About Global Perspective & Leaving Chicago

74 Interview: David Hardy on Putting Purpose Before Politics and Kids Before Adults in Leading Ohio’s 2nd State-Takeover District

For Schools, an Eclipse Conundrum: To Open or Close? For Fun or for Science?

New Poll Shows Sharp Decline in Support for Public Charter Schools Over Past Year

A Massachusetts Teachers Union Votes to Kill a Successful Charter School, as Families Scramble for Answers

WATCH: Mission to Mars Video Wins $10,000 and Visit to NASA for 4 NJ Middle Schoolers

Jason Botel Reportedly Out at Education Dept. as Feds Reject ESSA Plan From DeVos’s Home State

2 in 3 High School Students Know of Kids Who Cheat Using Digital Devices — but Few Admit Doing It Themselves

Fewer Than 1 in 3 Americans Support Kids Opting out of Tests; About Half Confused on What ‘Opt Out’ Means

Call Her RoboKid: How a Cutting-Edge Robot Is Helping an Ohio Student Attend Classes While She’s Sick at Home

LearnLaunch Accelerator Gives a Boost to Ed Tech Startups Worldwide From Its Boston Home

No More School Daze? California Weighs Making Middle & High Schools Start Later So Students Can Sleep In

This Week in ESSA: Pennsylvania Looks to Cut Testing Time, Indiana Reformats A–F Grades & 3 More Approvals

What Our Kids Made at Summer Camp: Proud Parents Posting Adorable Photos of Arts & Crafts on Social Media

74 Interview: Michael Lomax, CEO of the United Negro College Fund, on Guiding Low-Income Students Through College

Los Angeles Schools Launch Campaign and Resource Guides to Protect Immigrant Students

300 Tutors, Working With Students 2 Hours a Day: One School Network’s Investment in Personalized Learning

Data Sharing, Data Dumping & Claims of ‘Academic Fraud’ in Tweetstorm Over Story About Louisiana Vouchers

New Report: Only 1 in 5 Teachers Receive Full Pension Benefits

Photo Credit: Education Next

May 16, 2017

Talking Points

.@bellwethered new research: states count on all teachers paying into pensions but not collecting them

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

New research findings indicate that only 1 in 5 teachers receive their pension plan’s full benefits while a majority receive nothing.

Pensions are thought to motivate teachers to remain in their jobs, but analysts from Bellwether Education Partners, a Washington, D.C., education consulting firm, said states actually rely on high rates of turnover in order to balance budgets.

In an article published today in Education Next, “Why Most Teachers Get a Bad Deal on Pensions,” Bellwether reviewed pension plans and state budget projections in all 50 states and found that “although state plans depend on all teachers to contribute, they also count on only paying benefits to some of them.”

The analysts found that, on average, most teachers won’t vest in their state plans and, even if they do, most won’t “break even” — their future payments will be worth less than the amount they paid into their plan.

The report echoes a Thomas B. Fordham Institute study from January that looked at the teacher retirement systems in the largest school districts in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It found that teachers have to wait an average of 25 years before the value of their pensions exceeds what they contribute themselves.

(More 74 Coverage: Matt Barnum on a recent Fordham foundation pension study)

Additionally, pensions fail to incentivize teacher behavior based on quality or stability in the workforce, the Bellwether article suggests: More-junior teachers don’t stay longer, while those eligible for retirement leave — the value of their pension decreases after that point.

“Current teacher pension plans are not working well for teachers, schools, or students,” say authors Chad Aldeman and Kelly Robson. “[They] are neither improving the workforce nor providing teachers with adequate retirement savings.”

The article includes a nifty interactive graphic with state-by-state data.

 

Disclosure: Andrew J. Rotherham is a co-founder and partner at Bellwether Education and a senior editor and member of The 74’s board of directors.