More than 1,100 retired Illinois teachers receive pensions of $100,000 or more, complains pension critic Bill Zettler. A former driver’s ed teacher gets $103,000 year. (He must have worked a lot of overtime in his last four years of teaching.) Teachers can retire at age 55.
Zettler suggests giving teacher retirees $1 million at retirement to invest as they see fit. That would generate $40,000 a year for the teacher — more than the average pension of $38,076 — and save the state money.
In Michigan, public school employees who work for at least 10 years can retire and then go back to work at age 60 for 102 hours, re-retire and qualify for lifetime medical and dental benefits worth $150,000.
Paulette Strong, a former bus driver, went back as a teacher’s aide for three weeks to qualify, the Detroit News reports.
Retirement costs are strangling Michigan schools, which now pay $1,015 per student per year for retirees’ pensions and health care bills. That figure is expected to skyrocket in coming years, threatening the state’s already-strapped education system.
I just turned 55 and started receiving my pension for 22 years of work for Knight Ridder Newspapers. It’s less than 20 percent of my former salary, but still nice to have. I had no idea that I’d be eligible before 65.