Texas teacher retirement plans could be in danger

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LONGVIEW, Tx (KETK) – Longview Independent School District held a summit today in Longview. A hot topic at the event was teacher retirement plans.

Not all change is bad change, but according to the Texas Retired Teachers Association, changes that could be made to the retirement plans of all Texas teachers would not be good.

“If you’re teaching today, first of all, you’re probably not making a whole lot of money,” said Tim Lee with the Texas Retired Teachers Association. “You are putting away some money in this plan, your defined benefit plan, the traditional retirement plan. It’s like deferred compensation. 

If lawmakers lower state or employer contribution to the plans…

“Then what’s going to happen is the benefits that people believe they’re earning for the future are going to be reduced when they retire, it could be a much less monthly amount of income,” said Lee.

Suzanne Bardwell, a retired teacher worries that this could take a great toll on the future of education.

“How are we going to attract highly qualified, dedicated, young people into the field of education in the state of Texas when everything is so unsure about what their pension may be, what their benefits may be, how much their health insurance cost,” said Bardwell. “They can’t afford, active teachers, can’t afford their family health insurance if they are starting out as young teachers.”

The good news is, teachers can fight for their benefits.

“They have to become informed voters, because these decisions aren’t being made in Washington D.C., these decisions are being made in the state capital,” said Lee.

It’s a fight, the teachers in this room, hope to win.

An education rally will be held at the Gregg County Courthouse on Saturday, October 20th at 10am.

 

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