From the President’s Podium
“Summer vacation is the time when parents realize that teachers are grossly underpaid.” Author unknown
As I am writing this, today’s temperature is nearing 100 degrees and this is the “Fall” newsletter!
I would like to pass along to you some information received from ARTC since our last newsletter: First, a big thanks goes to ARTC (and affiliates like GBRTA) for taking the lead in successfully lobbying our Legislators to make NO changes in the Teacher Pension Tax Exclusion Law which excluded 10% of our 2015 retirement pay from taxation and will exclude 25% this year and 50% next year. This information underscores the importance of membership in both the ARTC and the GBRTA.
Secondly, while state government continues to explore spreading its pension debt further into the future, Connecticut apparently won’t have that option when it comes to benefits owed its public school teachers. The state’s bond counsel has warned that restructuring contributions to the teachers’ pension would violate restrictions the state accepted when it borrowed $2 billion to bolster the fund eight years ago. This means that the state must continue to contribute, each year, enough to the pension program to catch up on past mistakes (underfunding) and to cover the future retirement costs of today’s teachers. Note: Since the bond is for 25 years, our pensions are safe for 17 more years. After that, who knows?
And finally, Facebook! It is a powerful communication tool that comes at no cost. Research indicates that Facebook’s fastest growing age demographic is people aged 55 and older, with 56% of Internet users 65+ now using Facebook. If you are not a Facebook user and would like to subscribe, there is an excellent AARP video link that will help you get started. It is: - of course you have to have internet access to open the link!
Here are some additional links that might be of interest:
We have planned a nice mix of entertaining and informative programs, fabulous meals, and time to socialize with fellow retirees during our meetings this year. If you have friends who have retired from teaching who have not joined us – bring them along! Consider volunteering for one of our committees – there’s something for everyone and our Committee Chairs would really appreciate the help. And, importantly, plan to attend Lobby Day in the spring and support legislative efforts that are beneficial to us and our fellow retirees.