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Pension letter to the Editor from AC Retired teachers

Adair County retired teachers give their side of the pension story in this commentary by Ellen Zornes
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By Ellen Zornes, President, Adair County Retired teachers

The Adair County Retired Teachers’ Association would like to set the record straight on the Pension for the Retired Teachers. We have kept quiet locally so far but we can no longer sit by and let the untrue political rantings continue.

Here are the facts about retired teachers:

  1. We worked our entire careers in the school setting. We signed a contract. We spent our own money to further our education to obtain our Master's Degree as required by law. If we obtained further certifications or degrees that was also done with our own money. We also spent our own money many times on our students.

  2. The contracted portion of our earnings were withheld from each paycheck to go into teacher retirement. We had no choice in this matter. . . we had signedthe contract.

  3. We worked our entire careers in the school setting. We signed a contract. We spent our own money to further our education to obtain our Master's Degree as required by law. If we obtained further certifications or degrees that was also done with our own money. We also spent our own money many times on our students. The contracted portion of our earnings were withheld from each paycheck to go into teacher retirement. We had no choice in this matter...we had signedthe contract.

  4. Teachers were not allowed to pay into Social Security. The state made that determination decades ago and that is why our earnings were withheld each paycheck and paid into the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) because we had signed the contract. We had no choice!

  5. We cannot receive any of our spouse's Social Security because we signedthe contract. We knew this when we retired. However we did not know that the state would not make its payments into our retirement system as per the contract we had signed or that through the years the legislature would take our retirement monies to balance the state budget. We had no control over that. We did not know that the state would suddenly decide that we do not deserve to have our money that we paid into retirement and that it should be taken away from us.

  6. We DID NOT know that we, retired teachers, would be blamed for the legislature not paying their part of the money into our retirement system. We did not know that we would be accused of robbing the state and wanting a handout. We did not know that our years of dedicated service to the children of Kentucky would be turned into a way to bail Kentucky out of its debts that were not paid and that we would be made to be the enemy. We paid our part, we signed the contract, we lived up to our part of the deal. Our retirement is all any of us will have to live on for the rest of our lives. That is why we stood up for ourselves when the Governor attacked us! Because we signed the contract and held up our part of that contract. The Teacher Retirement System is solvent. Our Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) were also prefunded by us with the money that was withheld from our checks throughout the years.

  7. We did not cause any funding problems for the state we love. We simply signed the contract and paid our part!
We loved teaching, we loved our students, we worked hard and we were proud to educate our future generation. But we, like everyone else, need money to live out the rest of our lives...money that we paid and that we signed the contract in good faith that would be delivered when we retired. Please understand that this is not a handout but a paid retirement.

Thank you, Adair County Retired Teachers


This story was posted on 2018-03-23 08:41:03
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