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Don't look to retired teachers for savings

New London’s Public School teachers returned to their classrooms earlier this month to welcome back their students after the hardest six months of their careers. Imagine my surprise − and theirs, no doubt − when I saw The Day’s editorial board choose to print a piece claiming it is reasonable to claw back the money that retired teachers, who have earned and paid in their whole careers, now live on, “6 years after Day reporting, pension problem persists,” (Sept. 9). Let me make it clear that advocating for cuts to existing pension benefits is advocating for stealing money from teachers. Connecticut’s teachers pay 7% of their earnings into the TRS to be invested and put away for them when they retire. Connecticut is also one of 15 states whose teachers do not participate in Social Security, meaning their TRS pensions are their primary, and often their only, source of retirement income. Our teachers have seen an increase to how much of their income they are required to contribute to the TRS as well as an increase to the age they are able to retire and begin receiving these benefits without penalty. They earn their retirements. We need to turn our attention to raising revenue through fair taxation in order to close existing funding gaps - not advocate for stealing teacher pension contributions.

Jefferey Hart

New London

Editor's note: Our editorial did not reference retired municipal teachers but "state pensioners," some of whom are receiving six-figure annual pensions, as potentially being willing to accept a "modest haircut" in their payments as part of a plan to assure the solvency of the pension system.

 

 

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