The $100,000 club

More than 3,000 retired California educators collect pensions of $100,000 or more per year, complains the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility.  I checked the list (pdf) and found a retired community college president and several administrators, but no teachers. Cameron McCune, a retired superintendent getting more than $20,000 a month, may be the top recipient.

My pension from Knight Ridder newspapers represents 15 percent of my peak pay.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Yes, but we collect a pension instead of social security (even if we pay into social security through other jobs); so, while teacher pensions are generous, it isn’t quite fair to compare them to pensions intended to be collected in addition to social security (although I’d pure-d love to be collecting a fraction of the pensions enjoyed by my neighbors retired from Boeing).

  2. Ragnarok says:

    I think the point is that teachers’ pensions are ridiculously out of whack, particularly when you look at their terrible track record.

    Most of these bottom-quartilers couldn’t survive for a day in fields with much stingier benefits, such as physics, engineering etc.

  3. It would be interesting to see the percentage of “administrators” to teachers for California vs other states. My guess is that California would rate pretty highly by this measure.

  4. Yes, let’s make sure that these teachers are not getting mony that rightfully belongs to billionaires.

    Seriously, Jacobs, whop is paying your salary, what kind of money are you making, and where is your accountability? I would love to know what is motivating such a constant campaign of negativity.

  5. Mark Roulo says:

    Seriously, Jacobs, who is paying your salary, what kind of money are you making, and where is your accountability?

    I believe that Joanne is self employed.

    The biggest problem with the teacher pensions isn’t going to be whether they are reasonable or fair anything subjective like that. The problem is going to be that the money isn’t there and at some point it is going to be difficult to convince 30ish taxpayer that the right thing to do is to pay 60ish teachers instead of spending the money on themselves or their children.

    After all, the 30 year olds will say, “We didn’t sign up to pay you this money. Go talk to the people who did.”

    Parents are generally not allowed to borrow money in their children’s name (unless the child is an adult and co-signs the loan), but this is basically how the public pensions work. The adults from years ago agreed that at some point in the future, other people would be on the hook for paying the pension. Those other people weren’t part of the discussion (and may not have been born).

    If the money was laying around in a lock box, there wouldn’t be an issue. But it isn’t. And that basically means that adults a while back agreed among themselves that kids in the future would pony up part of their paychecks to pay these pensions. The money isn’t there and those kids are going to have other ideas on how best to use the money.

    I fear it is going to get ugly.

    -Mark Roulo

  6. Ragnarok says:

    “Seriously, Jacobs, whop is paying your salary, what kind of money are you making, and where is your accountability? I would love to know what is motivating such a constant campaign of negativity.”

    Excellent tactics! Attack the messenger, not the facts.

  7. Ragnarok says:

    “And that basically means that adults a while back agreed among themselves that kids in the future would pony up part of their paychecks to pay these pensions.”

    Not the adults – the politicians and the unions.

  8. In response to Stephen, I haven’t been on salary since I left the San Jose Mercury News in 2001. I’m a self-employed writer, which is a low-paying and insecure occupation. On the other hand, my former newspaper colleagues have been through many rounds of lay-offs and just agreed to take a 7 percent salary cut, pay more on their medical benefits and cut paid vacation time. Those who lost their jobs have no hope of finding another newspaper job. They are coping.

    As I said in the post, these pensions appear to be going to retired administrators, not to teachers, though I only checked the larger pensions.

  9. Although I get a little tired of the huge pension thing (my classroommate, who is retiring after 39 years with a Ph.D — the absolute top of the scale — will get about $50K/year with no medical, etc. — I won’t make it that long ‘cuz I’m 2nd career and have no plans to get a Ph.D — so I’m anticipating 10K less, whatever that works out to be in 20 years, should the pension system still be intact), I think it is very fair to point out that it is administrators getting the top $$ — “educators” is a blanket term.

    I don’t see a big difference between the next generation paying for my pension and the next generation paying for non-teachers’ social security. Things are actually looking pretty good in the pyramid scheme for us with the second wave boom coming up behind us.

  10. But how long did you work for Knight Ridder? 7 years? 10 years? 20 years? And how much do you get (or will you get) in Social Security?

    Some of the teachers who are receiving high pensions probably taught for 30-plus years. I’m not defending high teacher pensions, but it’s not fair to compare apples to oranges.

    Signed, a second career teacher who paid into SS from age 16 to age 40 and won’t see that money

  11. Rags, you wouldn’t survive a day in any profession that required compassion, decency or real humanity. I pity your children.

  12. Andy Freeman says:

    > Signed, a second career teacher who paid into SS from age 16 to age 40 and won’t see that money

    The only reason you won’t see it is if SS goes belly-up. Of course, that’s fairly likely because SS is a Ponzi scheme.

    Since public employee pensions are also a Ponzi scheme ….

    Do you really think that you’re entitled to collect from a Ponzi scheme? More to the point, do you really think that someone else will pay to let you collect from a Ponzi scheme?

  13. I worked for Knight Ridder for 22 years. I will be eligible for Social Security, which I started paying into at age 16, in another 10 years or so. I’m not counting on it being worth much.

  14. Ragnarok says:

    Quoth Mike:

    “Rags, you wouldn’t survive a day in any profession that required compassion, decency or real humanity. I pity your children.”

    On your broad shoulders you bear the weight of my lack of compassion, KauaiMark’s toadiness, and a thousand thousand other things.

    You’re a good man, Mike.