Prospective full-time teachers were scrambling to get into the state pension tier before a reform measure designed to save New York taxpayers billions of dollars took effect on Jan. 1.
The change adopted in December means new hires will receive less generous retirement benefits than teachers vested under the current pension plan—unless they followed the teachers’ union guidance to lock in to the richer plan. Teachers joining after Jan. 1 will have to pay 3.5 percent of their salaries toward their pensions for as long as they work. Currently employed teachers pay 3 percent for the first 10 years of service, then pay nothing.
More than 3,000 workers had joined the pension system last month under the more generous tier about three times the number who joined a year ago, according to data from the state Teachers Retirement System.
A version of this article appeared in the January 06, 2010 edition of Education Week as New York State Teachers Sign Up Before Change in Pension Plan