The 2019 Connecticut legislative session ended at midnight last night, and, thanks to your advocacy, we were successful at achieving some of our top priorities.
Watch CEA Executive Director Don Williams’ summary of what we accomplished this session.
Safeguarding Teacher Pensions
The General Assembly has passed a fair, responsible state budget that ensures the long-term security of teacher pensions. Read more
As it decides what recommendations to make toward putting Connecticut’s pension funds on more secure footing, the state’s Pension Sustainability Commission today heard from State Treasurer Denise Nappier about the history of funding for the teachers’ retirement fund, the largest pension fund overseen by the treasury.
State Treasurer Denise Nappier and staff for the Office of the State Treasurer presented to the state’s Pension Sustainability Commission today.
“We must ensure the sustainability of the fund so that it can provide the retirement benefits we have promised to our retired and current teachers,” Nappier said. “They deserve no less.” Read more
CEA Retirement Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho is serving on the state’s Pension Sustainability Commission to represent teachers.
The state’s unfunded pension liability will surely be discussed at length this election season, but a state commission created by the legislature is already at work this summer exploring ways to address the problem.
The Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission is charged with studying “the feasibility of placing state capital assets in a trust and maximizing those assets for the sole benefit of the state pension system.”
CEA Retirement Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho serves on the commission, representing teachers. “Placing a state asset, such as the Connecticut lottery, into the Teachers’ Retirement Fund would dramatically reduce the state’s unfunded liability. That would allow the state to reduce its yearly payment into the fund since there would be less unfunded liability to pay off,” she says. Read more
It’s time to roll back the 1 percent teacher tax increase.
The legislature is currently considering action on a budget bill, and we have two weeks left in the legislative session to fight for a roll back of the teacher tax from 7 to 6 percent.
Now is the time to call your legislators and ask them to pass HB 5430, An Act Concerning Teachers’ Retirement Commission Contributions.
Because of the many emails and phone calls legislators received from teachers, HB 5430 was passed out of committee. We must keep the pressure up.
Rolling back this unfair increase will require votes in the House and the Senate before midnight May 9. Your legislators and legislative leaders need to hear from you in order to make this happen.
Click here to email your legislators and tell them to roll back the teacher tax and pass HB 5430.
Click here to email legislative leaders and urge them to call for a vote on HB 5430.
CEA President Sheila Cohen today sent a letter to legislators explaining why teachers oppose the teacher payroll tax in the latest budget proposal.
Some legislators have been telling teachers the increased pension contribution is not a tax. Read the letter below to understand why it is, in fact, a tax—a tax that unfairly targets teachers.
Then click here and contact your legislators.
I am writing to express my appreciation for your work this session under very difficult budgetary circumstances. CEA also appreciates the work that leadership in both parties have invested into the tentative bipartisan budget agreement.
You may question why CEA opposes the increase in the teacher payroll tax from six to seven percent. That is a fair question, and I want to share with you facts about the payroll tax increase so that we are all on the same page. Read more
Want to learn more about planning for retirement? Comprehensive CEA workshops held around the state cover all issues related to the State Teachers’ Retirement System, such as retirement eligibility, purchasing additional service, how Social Security may be affected, retiree health insurance, and choosing a retirement plan.
CEA Retirement Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho will cover a wide range of issues and offer time for questions following the presentation. The workshops are held at various locations around the state throughout the fall and in the early spring.
Any active CEA member who wishes to begin planning for retirement is encouraged to attend a workshop. It is never too early to educate yourself!
Click here for more information and to register for a workshop.
“Increasing property taxes for residents is not the comprehensive solution Connecticut needs to balance the state budget. We need a budget that works for all of us,” a coalition of ten organizations, which includes CEA, has written legislators.
Proposals to balance the state budget by shifting costs to cities and towns don’t sit well with Connecticut voters. The coalition of education organizations and groups representing cities and towns is urging legislators to reject these proposals.
Join us. Contact your legislators.
Tell your legislators to oppose any plans that will shift the cost of teacher retirement contributions from the state to cities and towns. A cost shift will lead to higher local property taxes and cuts to much-needed services in our communities.
Read the coalition’s open letter to legislators.