Topic: Retirement Security

Article WEP/GPO Social Security
rally to end WEP/GPO in Washington D.C.retirees rally to end WEP/GPOretirees fighting to end WEP/GPORepeal WEP/GPO

Take action now to avoid income shock at retirement
End the Social Security penalties WEP and GPO

Districts are supposed to tell new hires about the impact “WEP and GPO” will have on their Social Security—but often they don’t, says Dennis Cox, president of the CFT Council of Retired Members. That means teachers who are counting on a certain amount of income for their retirement get a shock when they find out they won’t be getting it. This happened to Cox.

“I found out I wasn’t going to get my full Social Security benefits and Medicare would be taken out of that,” he said. “I got clobbered, and there’s many people in a worse situation than I am.”

Article WEP/GPO Social Security
Repeal WEP/GPO

Sign now to repeal WEP and GPO!
Stop penalizing teachers and public employees

Everyone deserves a secure retirement, especially those who devoted their career to public service. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) threatens that by substantially reducing or eliminating the earned Social Security benefits of the millions of retired teachers and public employees who contributed to Social Security through other employment.

Article Elections 2022 WEP/GPO Social Security
retirees rally to end WEP/GPOretirees fighting to end WEP/GPOBonnie Ciedel

Retirees gearing up for national midterm elections
Voices of experience hope to educate younger Americans, reverse Social Security penalties

Political season is in full swing and, with days to go until California’s June 7 primary, CFT retirees are already looking ahead to the November 8 General Election.

“I can’t tell you how many people have told me they are mad as hell and ‘ready to do something’ because of the leaked Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights,” said Mike Nye at-large representative on the CFT Council of Retired Members.

Article retiree chapters coronavirus

Tips for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic
How one retiree chapter is supporting seniors during stay at home

By Susan Morgan, President, AFT Local 1931 Retiree Chapter

As a retiree chapter, one of our current challenges is to find new ways to stay connected, be supportive, and sustain our esprit de corps. The current pandemic has increased challenges for retirees, many of whom were already dealing with the social challenges of isolation and loneliness. These newly heightened mental health concerns are real, and our task is to find meaningful ways to connect with our members to support our common union values and goals.

Article coronavirus retiree chapters

Being retired in the time of Covid-19

By Dennis Cox, Southern Vice President, Council of Retired Members

AFT retirees have contributed so much to American education, and are in line for well-deserved gratitude from their students, colleagues and communities. You warrant a heartfelt thanks for what you have done, and for staying home and keeping yourselves safe during this outbreak. You are extremely valuable citizens. So, thank you to all who have served, and are now staying safely sheltered in your homes! Please continue to do all you can to stay safe.

Article CalPERS privatization

CalPERS bails out of private prisons
Drops $12 million investment in GEO Group and CoreCivic

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, CalPERS, recently rattled the cages of the for-profit prison industry by divesting nearly $10 million of stock in the country’s two biggest private jailers.

The August sell-off came on the heels of the California State Teachers Retirement System, CalSTRS, dropping its $12 million investment in GEO Group and CoreCivic (formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America).

Article CalPERS

Michael Bilbrey for CalPERS Board Member
This election will be very close. Every vote counts. Here’s how to cast your vote

The CFT has endorsed and strongly encourages your support for Michael Bilbrey in the runoff election for the CalPERS Board of Administration.

  • As a long-time labor leader, Bilbrey has demonstrated his commitment over many years to protecting defined benefit pension plans and ensuring affordable healthcare.
California Teacher CalSTRS CalPERS

Pension battles shift from ballots to courts
Tracking the latest strategies that attack public employee pensions

For years, people have been trying to attack pensions with ballot propositions, said Doug Orr, an economics professor at City College of San Francisco and the chair of the of the CFT Retirement Policy Committee. Those propositions always go down in defeat, Orr said, and now those attacks on pensions are coming to the courts. 

California Teacher Medicare Social Security

Retirees prepare to stand firm in a hostile new world
Social Security and Medicare targeted by majority party

Candidate Donald Trump told the American people he didn’t want to cut Social Security, but Republicans have opposed the system since its creation during the Depression.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has talked about “means testing” Social Security. In other words, wealthy seniors wouldn’t get benefits because they don’t need them. But they wouldn’t pay into the system, either, and losing the top 10 percent of contributors could lead to financial havoc. 

California Teacher CalSTRS gun control divestment

CFT urges CalSTRS to divest from gun manufacturers now
New documentary film Gun-Free Retirement features CFT members

In April 2013, a few months after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 20 children and six adult staff members, the board of California State Teachers’ Retirement System voted to divest from firms making weapons that are illegal to own in California. More than two years later, that hasn’t happened, and Joshua Pechthalt, president of the CFT, wants to make sure it does. Soon.