# ZeroSum Ruler (home)

## Blogging on math education and other related things

### The grass is always greener in WisconsinMarch 1, 2011

When times are good, teachers are “overworked and underpaid”.  Now that the baby boomers lost their retirements in the stock market and have to continue working, suddenly teacher pensions are a target.  Suddenly we teachers have it way better than the rest of the country.

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A person in industry may have the opportunity to make \$150,000 a year while he is working.  A teacher?  \$50,000 per year.  Does a pension of \$40,000 per year for 25 retirement years equal the \$100k the teacher missed out on each year for 30 years of his working life?  That’s 3 million dollars less than a person in industry.

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The fight in Wisconsin is not about the unions, it’s about the pensions.  That part I get, though I’m not sure why it’s the unions that are being targeted.  The part I don’t get is how this relates to the following statistics…

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People working in industry make twice as much as teachers.  If a person in industry makes \$50,000 more per year than a teacher, that’s 1.5 million dollars more than what the teacher made.  At this rate, a \$40,000 per year pension would need 37.5 years to reach 1.5 million.  To make back \$3 million – the difference in amount over 30 years between \$50,000 and \$150,000 – it would take twice that time, or 75 years, or until the retiree was 135+ years old, for a pension to make up for the money he never made by deciding to be a teacher.

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30% of new teachers quit in 3 years.  They will receive no pension.

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50% of teachers quit in 5 years.  They will receive no pension.

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Teachers need to work at least 10 years to receive any sort of pension.

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Teachers need to work 35 years to receive an 80% pension.

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Teachers put 11% of their paycheck into the pension fund.  Union dues are an expense on top of this.

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Everyone has the chance to be a teacher.  Why not become one if the benefits are so good?

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If 50% of teachers quit in 5 years, how many are really making it to 35 years?  10%?  And if they’ve contributed almost \$200,000 to the pension fund in their teaching career, are they not deserved any of it back?  How much are cities and towns really being taxed by teacher pensions?

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Speaking of pensions, Romney hates them.  Here you can see if you are one of Romney’s chosen 53%.

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