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connecticut teachers
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Connecticut Teachers’ Homework Assignment: Grade Your Pension Plan
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Connecticut Teachers’ Homework Assignment: Grade Your Pension Plan

Connecticut school teachers will need to get a head start on that first homework assignment of the year. No, the typical academic school year is not getting started early this year. The kids are not at their desks anxiously waiting to meet you for the first time. Instead, the first documents you should be grading is your very own Connecticut Teachers Retirement System financial reports. Evaluate these statistics more closely than any other homework assignment you have received. We should admit to ourselves that financial security and a retirement nest egg are also important reasons we entered the workforce. Of course most all teachers love the interaction with students but a respectable salary and pension are important too.

The Numbers Don’t Lie…Or Do They?

Most Connecticut teachers feel great about their retirement pensions, but they don’t ever look beyond the numbers of the Connecticut Teachers Retirement Board (TRB) website. It’s very comforting to know that if you work the required number of years and see that your contributions are being deposited into your pension with the expectation that you will receive pension checks after you retire . You better take a closer look at Connecticut’s financial status. Connecticut is actually in the worst financial position of all 50 states and the Connecticut Teachers Retirement System has over $9 billion in unfunded liabilities. The Connecticut Teacher’s Pension is actually in a crisis. Honestly, the only thing that truly makes you feel comfortable with your pension is because to date all retired teachers still receive their pension checks.

Where Does the Retirement Money Come From?

You already know the answer to this partly. Yes, you provide a considerable amount to the Connecticut Teachers Retirement System from your earnings. However, Connecticut has only $10 billion to cover over $63 billion in debts. The retired teachers still receive their pension checks up until now even with disastrous investment performances over the past several years because the Connecticut taxpayers are each paying a little toward those retirement checks for the retirees. Believe me I am not trying to do any finger pointing towards teachers and not even any particular person in government or a government agency. The system is so fragile and many are likely to blame. The system is about to crash and most Connecticut teachers are not aware that their treasured pension is in a crisis.

Fight for Your Pension

I encourage you to better educate yourself on the status of your pension and other employee benefits. Governor Dannel P. Malloy is already doing everything he can to make your life more difficult and eliminate collective bargaining. Soon he will be put in a predicament deciding how much longer the Connecticut taxpayers can afford to pay its retired teachers those promised pensions. You should evaluate the overall importance of your pension and decide how you would earn a living if your pension were to be drastically cut or wiped out. Make a strong decision that you will dig deep into the numbers and then ask how did this happen. Should your pension be at risk after you earned your degree and then taught school, graded papers, and assisted every child who came to you for help with assignments and other everyday issues? Part of your fight should not include the words “It’s Not Fair” even though it is not. You would be correct in saying so. There just isn’t enough time for this.

Grade Your Pension Plan

After you educate yourself on the status of your pension plan and begin to demand more from those making decisions on your pension plan’s investment choices you will have to face a harsh reality. Your Connecticut Teachers Retirement Plan is failing. No teacher wants to give one of their students a failing grade. There is always more you try to do to help that student get past sticking points but sometimes returning a student’s paper with a failure mark on it is just what they need. This is precisely what your pension plan deserves right now. Unfortunately, you are about to be the one who suffers from this failed report.

Your Action Plan

You should seek less traditional income than that which relies on the Connecticut government. I’m not suggesting you quit your job at this point in time. There will always be a need for quality teachers. However, the time to diversify your income is now. Don’t allow your upset emotions to get the better of you. You are in control of your financial destiny more now than ever before. Little by little you can break away from the need to rely on Connecticut’s broken government pension. Give yourself a homework assignment or two and take a few small steps. Once you take the needed steps to begin a new journey you will feel much more confident when your Connecticut Retirement system comes crashing down.


Street Talk

I wish I had one to grade. Keep up the good work Jay!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Shawn, there are a lot of people who would like a pension but the pensions soon won't be what they were supposed to be. I appreciate your kind words Shawn

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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