Exempt retiring educators from provisions requiring a reduction in benefits within the first 180 days of post-retirement reemployment
March 25, 2018


Whereas, the Public Employees Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) was intended to reduce potential abuses of the pension system, such as retiring on Friday with a pension benefit equal to 100 percent of the final salary and returning to work on Monday at that same salary; and

Whereas, to prevent this abuse, the PEPRA includes a provision requiring a dollar-for-dollar reduction in benefits for an employee covered by a state-sponsored retirement system from returning to work in any job covered by the same state sponsored retirement system for a period of 180 days; and

Whereas, educators retiring under CalSTRS would have to accrue 41 years of service credit to qualify for a pension benefit equal to 100 percent of their salaries; and

Whereas, retired educators usually return to work as part-time employees at salaries that are a fraction of their previous salaries; and

Whereas, educators who worked part-time during their teaching careers received salaries that were much less than that of full-time educators; and

Whereas, CalSTRS pension benefits are based on the salary of the retiree, which means that the pension benefits of part-time educators are significantly less than those of full-time educators; and

Whereas, the pension benefits of retired part-time educators are so meager that retirees often must continue to work to supplement their pension; and

Whereas, the pension benefit of full-time educators with 25 years of service is only 60 percent of their final salary, which requires many retirees to continue to work to supplement their pension; and

Whereas, there is a critical shortage of available substitute educators in the K-12 system; and

Whereas, retired educators with years of experience in developing classroom management skills and a depth of understanding of their academic disciplines and effective instructional strategies can best serve as mentors for younger, less experienced educators; and

Whereas, the PEPRA was also intended to prevent pension spiking by artificially increasing the final year’s salary; and

Whereas, it is almost impossible under the provisions of CalSTRS for a member to engage in pension spiking; and

Whereas, the CFT supports many of the provisions of the PEPRA, such as the anti-spiking provision;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the California Federation of Teachers reaffirms the intention to sponsor legislation providing an exemption to the PEPRA’s 180-day, dollar-for-dollar reduction in benefits provision for part-time educators and substitute teachers covered by CalSTRS; and

Therefore, be it further resolved, that the CFT will sponsor legislation to extend this exemption to all educators covered by CalSTRS.