It seems that when the chips are down, civil servants can no longer depend on promises made to them by American society. Ah, perfidious populous!
This New York Times article details the ways a plan comparable to the one I labor under in Illinois has been changed–taken back and altered by the folks in Colorado. They understand that their pension plans were too generous, given when times were different, and outlooks much rosier. The article quotes former Colorado Governor former Richard Lamm, who states plainly, “The New Deal is demographically obsolete. You can’t fund the dream of the 1960s on the economy of 2010.” Yep. It’s a whole new deal for civil servants alright.
This means that teachers like me, who cannot enjoy social security benefits at retirement (such as they may be when similarly altered by economic realities), now face a de facto reduction in remuneration. The somewhat generous terms of Illinois teacher retirement (at 35 years of service, 75% of the highest salary in perpetuity with COLA increases) will no longer be there, and so I had better start investing and saving the best I can now, and I had best begin practicing some sort of age-impervious employment for when the teaching gig (which I imagined as a “terminal job”) is no longer there.
The year of disappointments, set-backs and unexpected new planning continues!
photo of retirement watch from search.creativecommons.org