Most Exorbitant Teacher Pensions

Dividing the total annual payout by the number of retirees in 154 public plans as reported on their latest valuation reports puts these states in the top ten for average pension:


Which led me to wonder what the pension benefits for a union representing these employees looks like. As it turns out the average payout for a retiree in the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Retirement Plan is $51,305 ($13,647,219 for 266 retirees) which would top the list.

But what about only teacher plans? Many are consolidated with the main retirement system but there were 26 plans in our survey that indicated clearly that they were Teacher plans. Here is the summary of all the data on those plans and the state with the highest average Teacher pension (though not higher than the NJEA’s DB Plan) is…..



12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on August 17, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Hmm should NJEA members be outraged? Certainly for the lack of TPAF funding! As for the NJEA retiree benefits, comparison to other Union member plans might be more valid and useful. Enough of the divide and conquer, apples to oranges – that’s what got us here.


  2. Posted by Anonymous on August 18, 2016 at 10:34 am

    The NJEA is a DISMAL FAILURE regardless of the TWO hats it wares. They FAIL in their negotiations with the State and they fail in their negotiations with the UNION that represents NJEA employees. A TOTAL FAILURE!!!

    With that said, a collective bargaining agency election should be held to see if the dues paying membership, in excess of 150,000 people, wants this huge FAILURE to continue to represent them. The other choice on the ballot would be the New Jersey State Federation of Teachers. The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) represents the teachers of the City of New York. Both unions are affiliates of the national union known as the American Federation of Teachers.



  3. Posted by Anon on August 18, 2016 at 11:24 am

    California teachers (and teachers in about a dozen other states) do not receive Social Security for their years of teaching. Social Security benefits for other work are significantly reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision. Spousal survivor Social Security benefits are eliminated by the Government Pension Offset.


    • Posted by Anonymous on August 18, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Is this still the case (pws not participating in ss)? If so, it may be justification for some federal funding for those pension funds. Rationale bring that their retirees, although they didn’t pay into ss, are not contributing to ss projected deficit.


    • Exactly. New York State teachers and NYC teachers (who have a separate pension plan from the rest of the state) also get Social Security. You have to evaluate those who do and do not get Social Security differently.

      AND in New York public employee pension and Social Security income is fully exempt from state and local income taxes, no matter how high that and total income is. In California public employee pension income is taxed by the state, but Social Security which regular workers get but teachers do not, is NOT tax.

      NYC teachers also have a guaranteed 7.0% return on their separate, additional 401Ks. If the city doesn’t make 7.0%, the difference is paid out of the pension plan, and taxpayers make it up.

      It is hard to believe anyone gets a richer deal at the expense of less well off people than NYC.


      • Posted by Anonymous on August 18, 2016 at 9:16 pm

        Clearly exempting PW pension & SS and not everyone pension & SS is wrong and legislation can and should correct that. IF ALL pension & SS income is exempt then at least it’s fair amongst retirees – leaving the workers more of a tax burden. But that’s easily rectified, move to a State with no income tax!


    • And they did not have the 6.5% fica tax deducted from every paycheck, so they had greater take home pay to fund their future years on their own.


  4. Posted by George on August 18, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    NY has twice the population but only 1.6 times the number of retired educators as NJ. Is that right?


  5. Here are the real teacher pension figures for California, leaving off teachers who only worked as few as five years or so to get vested, and even these are understated because paid health benefits are not included:


  6. Posted by atomtabloid on August 21, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Teacher pensions are not exorbitant just because they provide enough for a retiree to live on. When did impoverishment become the standard we seek to impose on everyone in our society? For 36 years, the richest people have gotten exorbitant tax breaks and governments following a Republican philosophy stopped paying their bills. These decades of deadbeat public policy has created massive wealth inequality and a lack of investment in transportation, water, and public pension funds.

    I am confident that teachers who only worked a few years to get vested, only get a small return from those pensions. Teachers who worked over the optimum retirement time won’t live longer so they could be considered as ‘giving back’ to those funds.

    The pension crisis is a crisis because taxpayers elected reckless financial managers who promised tax cuts without informing the citizens that they would cheat, lie and steal to fulfill those pledges. In New Jersey’s case, Christine Todd Whitman delivered a bid tax cut and we are going to pay for it now.

    Someone ought to suggest taking the money away from Whitman, McGreevey, Corzine & Christie before planning to raid the accounts of workers who earned a decent life.

    *James J. Devine* *PO Box 1061* *Rahway NJ 07065 *

    *(732) 340-1980 tel. * **

    On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 4:05 PM, Burypensions Blog wrote:

    > burypensions posted: “Dividing the total annual payout by the number of > retirees in 154 public plans as reported on their latest valuation reports > puts these states in the top ten for average pension: Which led me to > wonder what the pension benefits for a union represen” >


  7. and this article does not tell us the “average” number of years worked to receive those “average” amounts – i suspect the “average” is much less than 30 years.


  8. […] free-market, limited-government solutions in Connecticut” and today they focused on our blog entry on Teacher Pensions (for which I was interviewed) […]


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