Many new teachers will contribute a portion of their pay to pension plans that will be worth less upon retirement than what the teachers contributed while they were in the classroom, according to a new report by the Washington-based think tank, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
The report looks at how long teachers in the largest district in each state and in the District of Columbia must wait until their pension value exceeds their own contributions. The short answer: Teachers in more than half the 51 districts wait 25 years before their retirement benefit is worth more than the total of what they invested.
That means many teachers never see a benefit, as 72 percent leave the profession before putting in 20 years on the job, the report found.
That lag time is in part because districts use new teachers’ pension contributions to pay for existing pension benefits, the report says.
A version of this article appeared in the February 08, 2017 edition of Education Week as Teachers