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Riverside, San Bernardino County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Retried Teacher Pensions

By Ralph R. Villani

Candidate for Member; Riverside County Board of Education; Trustee Area 5

This information is provided by the candidate
There is a great deal of discussion in political circles about the pensions that retired educators receive. What are the facts about these pensions?
The amount that a retired educator receives is based on age, years of service and final salary. For example, if a teacher worked for 30 years, was 60 years of age, and had a final salary of $70,000, that retired teacher would be eligible for a annual retirement benefit of $42,000 or a monthly retirement of $3,500.00. Keep in mind that California retired educators are generally not eligible for Social Security. They generally are eligible for Medicare, but no other medical benefit such as prescription drugs unless they pay for it or enroll in Part D of Medicare.

Who pays for this retirement benefit? These funds come primarily from investment income (State Teachers Retirement System) 70 - 75%, and from contributions from Teachers, 10 - 11 %; School Districts, 11 - 12 %; and the State of California, 5 - 6%. Yes, 70 - 75% comes from the investments from all the funds in STRS. It is true that because of the economy, the interest and dividends earned on these investments have come down a bit. But with minor adjustments such as calculations based on the average of the last three years of service rather than the final salary, and an improved economy, the income from investments will be adequate to continue to fund these modest pensions.

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