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Detroit Schools

Detroit Bankruptcy and Pensions

One of the ways teachers are compensated is through pensions. Yes, I know a lot of teachers who work well beyond retirement age – many of the really good teachers in our building are in their late 60's and 70's. A few years back, we had a teacher die just before her retirement date. In fact, we had her visitation on the day her retirement party was scheduled. She'd been with our district for 37 years. She was a dynamic teacher who had a lot of students who were very much attached to her.

The whole pension thing is a gamble on both ends – the entity provided the pension is hoping I will die before they have to pay me. I'm gambling that I will actually get that pension and that the money will actually be there.

What really bothers me though, is when the rules are changed mid-stream – it's happened here in Texas – so far, most of the rules have been grandfathered, but not always. It is not fair to tell me when I am 24 that part of my compensation is a pension and then change that pension when I'm 35, 45, or worse yet, in my 60's.

So yes, it's very bothersome to see that pensions maybe affected by government entity going bankrupt. It's bad enough when it is a private sector business. Another reason not to have your pay and retirement coming from the same place.


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