We recommend a very revealing article in today's Post-Dispatch that explains the extremely generous teacher's pension system in Missouri. Below is a couple of quotes:
• Teachers and administrators in the state contribute 14 percent of their salaries to retirement, and school districts match that.
• Those in the system do not pay Social Security taxes while working or draw Social Security benefits once retired.
• Retired educators receive benefits that include cost-of-living increases, set by a formula based in part by the three highest consecutive years of salary.
• A retiree with 30 years would take in 75 percent of his or her highest average salary. Those who worked 40 years could have a pension equal to 100 percent of their former pay.
"That's where Mehlville Superintendent Terry Noble found himself. Like Senti, Noble felt he was at the prime of his career, yet financially it made sense to retire.
"It's at this point when superintendents have the most to offer," said Noble, 59. "But when you reach this stage, you either have to move up (in salary) or move out." ...In Noble's case, the Mehlville School Board offered him a 24 percent pay increase, plus a $25,000 bonus for staying another three years — though he later accepted a smaller raise when the controversy began to cloud the district's proposed tax increase.
Both offers led to a public outcry at a time when many districts are raising tax rates and slowing or even freezing teacher pay.
But the extra perks worked. Noble delayed his retirement and continues as superintendent this school year. Spiegel did the same and remains at the helm of Ferguson-Florissant schools, although he plans to retire in June.
But retaining superintendents long term through salary increases is difficult. Each time salaries go up, so do the retirement benefits and the temptation to call it quits.
Noble's contract now runs through June. He said he hadn't yet decided if he'd stay after that."
Read the full article at: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/article_49471506-324d-519a-865b-fc3ed008600c.html