Connecticut’s public school teachers have to wait longer than educators in nearly every other state to qualify for life-long pension payments and are in the middle of the pack for the amount of their salaries they must contribute for the future benefit, according to a recent survey.

But, Connecticut has the 11th worst-funded teachers’ pension system in the country, largely because state leaders did not save enough over many years to pay for future benefits being promised to teachers. The teachers’ pension fund is more than $10 billion underfunded.

This data, released by the National Council on Teacher Quality this week, comes as Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposes having municipalities begin picking up one-third of the pension costs.

Connecticut educators are eligible for retirement benefits typically starting at age 57, which puts the state in the middle of the age other states require of their employees. Connecticut is one of 16 states where teachers do not participate in Social Security.

Teachers must work 10 years and contribute 7.3 percent of their salaries to receive the life-long pension and health benefits. Twenty-three states require their teachers contribute less towards their retirement benefits than Connecticut’s educators; including Delaware, New Jersey, New York , New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Read the entire report here.

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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