I feel like the STRS pension system screwed me over - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      Substitute Teachers

I feel like the STRS pension system screwed me over

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Jesse127
 
 
Guest

Jesse127
 
 
Guest
I feel like the STRS pension system screwed me over
Old 02-15-2020, 08:43 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

When I began subbing several years ago, I didn't even know I was a member of STRS (Ohio state teacher retirement system)

I was just a part-time sub who worked like a small number of days each year or so. Didn't even think about their retirement plan. Didn't even know I was in their retirement plan.

I don't have any intention of becoming a full-time teacher, this is just something I did on the side.
(I don't have a full teacher's license, but as time went on in later years, I ended up subbing more frequently, like I sub every week now.)

STRS never sent me any paperwork; they just automatically defaulted me into the "Traditional Pension System"....

Ohio STRS allows you to select one of three options
-Traditional
-Combined
-Member-Directed

So they defaulted me into the traditional option; which completely screws me over.
Financially, it would have been much smarter for me to go into the member-directed plan,


They won't let me change it.


At the time that I started, STRS contribution rate was only 10%. Now it's 14%, surprise!

and here's another thing that's unfair: you'd think STRS would be somewhat similar to OPERS (Ohio Public Employees Retirement System):
To this day, OPERS contribution rate is still 10%.
To earn a service credit with OPERS, you need to make at least 8k/year.
but to earn a service credit with STRS, you need to make like 20k to 30k/year --- which a substitute will never make. I only get a partial year's credit in STRS, for every year I work. Even though the same amount under OPERS would be worth a full year.

and STRS announced that they're suspending COLA increases (which they are now being sued over.)
OPERS still offers COLA increases. (they're just "simple cola," not a compounding cola, but still, better than nothing.)
Why is STRS failing to live up to the OPERS standard? They're both mainstream Ohio Public Pension Systems, you'd think OPERS would have set the bar for STRS, but no.


and why couldn't STRS have done a better job of informing me of all this when I started subbing? I never received any paperwork from them!
OPERS sent me paperwork when I joined them.


Well the good news is that if you're in both OPERS and STRS they may work together and combine at retirement, so at least there's that.


All new substitutes need to be warned (and educated) about this!


  Reply With Quote

Sublime Sublime is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,296
Senior Member

Sublime
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,296
Senior Member

Old 02-15-2020, 04:53 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

I don't know the ins and outs of Calstrs, here in CA, but apparently I became a member after 20+ years of subbing because I reached a working total of 100 days in one year. I received a letter several months ago saying I was now part of Calstrs, not much explanation. I think I knew it existed at one time but never wanted to be part of it. And they were taking 10% of my paycheck. Well, I was not pleased! I continued to be displeased until I figured out I was paying into social security all these years, but now I'd be paying into Calstrs instead. I received no information either until a few months later when I started receiving info in the mail. I have yet to create an account and go in and look at the website.
So, while I can't comment on your specific situation, I have to do some research on mine.

I hope others post with some helpful information.
Sublime is offline   Reply With Quote
bodhimom bodhimom is online now
 
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 293
Full Member

bodhimom
 
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 293
Full Member

Old 02-16-2020, 08:16 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

I can't add much, but I've been in strs (California) since I was a teacher for 10 years. I looked it up on the website and I think I'll get about $750 a month at age 62.

I always figured anything going into retirement will help when I get there. It doesn't take out that much, probably because I don't make much, now.

I withdrew my app for the aide position when I found out that it would change to a different retirement fund (pers?). The job was classified (no degree required).

That's all I know about it. I'm hoping it doesn't end up hurting me, somehow. That never even crossed my mind, but I'm pretty naive, sometimes.

I have no idea how that works with social security. With my luck the money I get from strs will be deducted from my social security check, anyway .

Last edited by bodhimom; 02-16-2020 at 10:05 AM..
bodhimom is online now   Reply With Quote
SubMan SubMan is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,635
Senior Member

SubMan
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,635
Senior Member

Old 02-17-2020, 05:27 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

It is doubtful that they "screwed you over." You didn't pick an option so they defaulted you into the most common option.

Just like keeping up with the requirements for your credentials it is in you best interest to know about things like retirement and planning for your future.

Ignorance is not an excuse.
SubMan is offline   Reply With Quote
luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 456
Senior Member

luv2teach2017
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 456
Senior Member
wise advice
Old 02-17-2020, 08:36 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

Quote:
it is in you best interest to know about things like retirement and planning for your future.
OK, I'm on my soapbox a bit here, but I wanted to chime in.

I have to agree with SubMan. It's a lesson I've learned (the hard way) after many years; especially as the demands of day-to-day living are getting a lot more complex. Watch out for yourself!

Once we're adults, no one is going to hold us by the hand and take care of us. If you leave it up to others, they will likely do what is in their own best interest, not yours. The best thing you can do for yourself is try to be informed and aware so that you can make good choices (before someone else makes them for you).

That said, Jesse127, I'm sorry you've felt cheated. You're probably not the only one. Hopefully, you can do more research and find some options.

When I signed up to sub with my current district, I discovered (after reading the fine print) that I was automatically enrolled in an alternative 401K account which deducts a fixed percentage from my paycheck with a much smaller percentage of employer matching (all in lieu of Social Security deductions).

Since I'm already semi retired, I asked if I could opt out, but was told "nobody ever asks about that (!)" and that I'd need to speak with someone in Payroll. I haven't gone further because with the employer matching funds, I am acquiring more money by staying in the plan. However, I check each paycheck stub to see how much is going into the 401K account.

I've noticed that my first 2020 check stub doesn't indicate the cumulative balance including last year. It only shows the "year to date" balance for 2020. That means I need to track the total investment balance myself to ensure I don't get short-changed in the end.

To be safe, I believe I should be receiving a periodic statement for the account (as I have with other retirement accounts) and plan to inquire about that. Am I being overly paranoid? Nope. I'm just making sure that my money is where it should be to prevent any unpleasant "surprises " down the road.

Bottom line? Be informed and aware so that you don't get blindsided. Sometimes things happen that you simply couldn't have prevented. But I believe most of the time, it's a matter of knowing and exercising your options.



Last edited by luv2teach2017; 02-17-2020 at 09:19 AM..
luv2teach2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
GoodEnough85's Avatar
GoodEnough85 GoodEnough85 is online now
 
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 93
Full Member

GoodEnough85
 
GoodEnough85's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 93
Full Member
Be extra careful in these states:
Old 02-17-2020, 10:29 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

And it includes some of you posting here.

Alaska Georgia Missouri Rhode Island
California Kentucky Massachusetts Nevada
Colorado Louisiana Ohio Illinois
Connecticut Maine Texas

I am in Missouri and joining the Teacher retirement system totally screwed me over on my Social Security benefits. I had 40 paid quarters into SS before I became a teacher.

Google the Windfall Elimination Provision and see what it does to your retirement benefits.
GoodEnough85 is online now   Reply With Quote
broomrider's Avatar
broomrider broomrider is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,948
Senior Member

broomrider
 
broomrider's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,948
Senior Member
SS heads up
Old 02-18-2020, 09:15 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

Goodenough85 is right. Be sure you check your options before you get vested in a state retirement plan in those listed states.

I get less than half of my social security benefits because of my Public Employees Retirement System pension. I also lose survivor's rights to my DH's social security benefits.

I suggest you check to see which program will provide the best retirement income. I also strongly suggest that even when it hurts, you put something aside in an investment account and just let it grow. If you feel deprived when you've got a paycheck, imagine what it will be like when you can no longer work.
broomrider is offline   Reply With Quote
broomrider's Avatar
broomrider broomrider is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,948
Senior Member

broomrider
 
broomrider's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,948
Senior Member
Jesse127
Old 02-18-2020, 09:18 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

You might try writing to your state legislators about your problems with the retirement system. Sometimes a letter of inquiry from a legislator can move mountains. It has for me.
broomrider is offline   Reply With Quote
bodhimom bodhimom is online now
 
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 293
Full Member

bodhimom
 
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 293
Full Member

Old 02-19-2020, 12:44 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

Wow. When I've written legislators, I'm lucky to get back a form letter. I'm glad you had better luck than I have.
bodhimom is online now   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
Substitute Teachers
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:24 AM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net