Tuesday, May 01, 2012

NPR's take on the Pension Crisis

From John Curry, April 26, 2012
New Teacher Pension Plan Calls for Raising Teacher Contributions, Retirement Eligibility Ages 
April 25, 2012
By Molly Bloom 
A new plan being pitched to legislators to ensure Ohio’s teacher pension system can meet its obligations would save the State Teachers Retirement System about $13.3 billion in future pension costs and other accrued liabilities.
But it would also have teachers “paying more and getting less,” the Columbus Dispatch reports.
The plan approved by the State Teachers Retirement System board earlier this month calls for:
• Higher member contributions. Teachers would have to contribute an additional 4 percent of their salaries towards their pensions, with the increase being phased in at 1 percent per year starting in July 2013. That’s up from the 10 percent required now.
• Higher retirement ages. To retire with a full pension, teachers would have to be at least 60 and have at least 35 years of service, with the change being phased in over time. Currently, teachers can retire with a full pension at any age as long as they have at least 30 years of service.
• Lower cost of living increases. Retirees would not receive a cost of living increase in 2013. And teachers retiring after August 2013 wouldn’t get a cost of living increase for five years. And when that cost of living increase comes, it would be 2 percent rather than the current 3 percent.
The plan would also change how the pension fund calculates retirees’ earnings and the benefits formula
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