Teaching Profession

AFT Calls for End to Pension ‘Spiking,’ but Defends Benefits

By Stephen Sawchuk — May 19, 2011 1 min read
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From guest blogger Sean Cavanagh:

As states across the country look to cut pension costs, the American Federation of Teachers is calling for ending “spiking” and “double-dipping” in retirement systems, while also arguing that educators’ benefits are anything but excessive.

The AFT, which has 1.5 million members, released a policy statement on the issue yesterday. It was the product of a special committee that has been studying retirement costs and benefits.

Pension spiking is the practice of sweetening compensation near the end of a employee’s career to increase a pension payout. Double-dipping is defined by AFT as a worker receiving payment of both a pension and a salary after the employee retires, then is rehired by the same employer. Numerous policymakers have sought to crack down on that practice in recent years.

But AFT’s report also takes issue with some of the popular claims about public workers’ pensions—namely, that they’re overly generous, or that they are the source of state budget woes. Read my full post for more details on the AFT document.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.