‘No one is trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes’
(Editor’s note: Bill Dahl is a member of the New Milford Board of Education.)
To the Editor:
In response to a letter in last week’s Spectrum, from Everett A. Pierce Jr., let’s play a game called “Just the facts, please.”
Just the facts please No. 1:
In the article, it sounded like there is a retirement incentive for the teachers already in place. The fact is there is no incentive in place for the teachers or anyone else for this year.
Just the facts please No. 2:
In the article it says, “they never provide the hard facts and figures to go by.” The fact is there is a way to get the information anyone wants from a public agency or board.
It is called the Freedom of Information Act and the writer of this article could have availed himself of this information to base the cost of this phantom incentive, but he chose not to. At least he could have called the district office for the “hard facts and figures” he needed.
Just the facts please No. 3:
In the article it stated a teacher of 30 years, around 55 years of age, would receive 80 percent of their salary. I think any teacher in the state of Connecticut would love to have that.
The fact is, teachers earn 2 percent toward retirement each year of Connecticut employment. So using the 30 years in the article, my math says 30 times 2 percent equals 60 percent, not 80 percent.
But wait, in the teacher’s pension plan you must be 60 years old with those 30 years to collect the 60 percent. If you are 55 years old, you are five years from retirement age and now your percentage is only 1.7 percent per year.
So, 1.7 percent times 30 is now 51 percent, a far cry from 80 percent.
Just the facts please No. 4:
In the article, the author seems to make the implication that the taxpayers will be paying the pension of the teachers who retire.
The fact is each year the teachers pay a percentage of their salary into the pension fund for their retirement.
Just like most people do for their 401K or other investment tools.
When a teacher retires, the taxpayers have no further financial obligations to the teacher in the form of pension or benefits.
Just the facts please No. 6:
The author, when referring to an incentive says “the idea that this will save money doesn’t compute with the math I learned in school.”
Fact is that it does save money. If it didn’t, big corporations wouldn’t offer retirement incentives as a way of improving their bottom line.