Letter to the Editor

Dear editor,

Most people will agree that public education is the life blood of most rural communities.

I am writing out of concern for the attacks on public education in general, but on the teacher retirement system in particular. Before anyone jumps to conclusions regarding the retirement system, the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System is actuarially sound, meaning that there is as much or more money coming into TCRS than is being paid out. This fact is accomplished through current employees paying their share which is then matched by the employer’s share plus the interest/dividends TCRS earns on its balance.

Since the TCRS has been designated as one of the top three retirement systems in the nation, why would members of the state legislature attempt to change the process? Currently, retirees know exactly how much money they will have each month because the formula is based on the amount they earned and the years they served.

With the change that some state legislators want, our retirement system would work more like the stock market; therefore, we would never know how much money we have each month.

The retirees who will be impacted if this change happens include not only K-12 teachers, but county and municipal employees, highway department employees, public higher education and state department employees.

Legislators who want to change the TCRS tell current retirees that they will not be impacted because they will continue with the same formula. They want to change the retirement system for those who are younger than age 55. If those who are younger than 55 no longer contribute to TCRS, then we retirees will certainly be impacted because less money will be in the balance that is drawing interest and dividends.

Sen. Delores Gresham has chosen to involve herself in attacks on public education and the TCRS. Rather than working with public school teachers and current retirees, she refuses to meet or discuss any problems.

I strongly urge current and future retirees to understand what could happen to the TCRS.

 

Billy J. Glover

Selmer, Tenn.