Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut
The Real Story on Retired Teacher Benefits.
We are retired teachers who diligently paid our
contributions for our pension and health insurance
during our working years. We are not state
employees, nor are we eligible to receive Social
Security benefits because we are part of a separate
state system created for teachers.
That is why it is so critical that the state meet
its obligation in its contributions to the Health
Insurance Premium Account (HIPA). For many of the
state’s 30,000 retired teachers, especially those
who retired before the Enhancement Act that
increased teacher salaries, these benefits are all
they have. We followed the rules and did our part
by paying into these funds during our working years
so we wouldn’t have to worry. Now, we need our
legislators to protect our earned benefits.
Retired Teachers Get Little or No Social Security
In Connecticut, our pension is more important than
ever because of Social Security inequities. Some
retired teachers do not even qualify for Medicare.
Even if we earned it before, during, or after we
became retired teachers we get little or no social
security benefits because of the Windfall
Elimination Provision (WEP). We are not entitled to
any spousal benefits because of the Government
Pension Offset (GPO).
Our Health Insurance Premium Fund is at Risk of
The State of Connecticut failed to contribute its
share to the HIPA fund for two consecutive years,
resulting in a loss of over $60 million to the fund.
In 2013, the state is reducing its share from
one-third of the cost, to just one-quarter. In the
2014 – 2015 proposed budget, the state will not
contribute to our health fund at all. By 2015, our
total loss to the fund will be approsimately 142
million dollars. A continued loss of the states
share of contributions will adversely affect our
health care costs
Retired Teachers Don't have State Employee
Retirement Benefits. We Rely Only on the Benefits
We’ve Paid For.
The cost of retiree benefits has long been equally
shared between the teacher-funded Health Insurance
Premium Account, supplemental payments made by
retired teachers, and the State of Connecticut.
Traditionally the State paid one-third of the cost
of the basic supplemental plan offered by the
Teachers' Retirement Board (TRB) through Stirling
Benefits. Another one-third came through HIPA.
Teachers contribute an extra 1.25% of their salaries
throughout their careers to a Health Insurance
Premium Account (HIPA). When they retire, HIPA
funds defray the cost of their health insurance
premium costs. With the proposed 2014 – 2015
budget, retired teachers will be paying the total
cost of their premiums (one third out of pocket and
two thirds from their Health Insurance Premium
December 20, 2012
To: The ARTC
parents and grandparents, we are stunned, saddened
and heart broken about the events at Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown on Friday, 12/14/12.
As retired school teachers, counselors and
administrators, we can identify more keenly and
painfully with those touched by this tragedy. For
some, disbelief or numbness ward off our feelings
while others rage silently or aloud. Many, many of
you have expressed the need to "do something" --
to offer support in some way. This is quite
natural for we have been nurturers and caregivers in
our chosen profession.
this time, there is little we can do directly unless
we are personally connected to staff and families of
Sandy Hook Elementary. As members of the
Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut, we
offer condolences to the families of the slain
victims, we attend memorial services and prayer
vigils. We offer our support to the wider Newtown
community, and we hold our loved ones closer. Some
are already participating in advocating for more
sensible gun control laws. Each of us must respond
and grieve in his or her own fashion.
after-effects and emotional scars from this
traumatic event will linger for days, weeks, months
and, for some, years. The victims, families, staff
and first responders will need caring and support
over the long haul, and so there will likely be
opportunities for us to be of assistance as the
days, weeks and months unfold. We have communicated
with Newtown Schools via letter to express our
condolences, and offer the resources of our
membership if needed. As information and/or
opportunities become known, we will post information
on our website or e-mail. If you have specific
thoughts or suggestions as to how we might be of
service, please contact Wayne Woodtke, Executive
or me via my contact info below.
the meantime, I remind you that we are in the midst
of the holiday season with its focus on caring and
sharing. I urge you to do lots of both with your
families and friends in the coming days, and to keep
our Newtown friends in your hearts and prayers.
Yours in service,
Welcome to your Association of Retired Teachers
of Connecticut, ARTC. We are Connecticut's
retired teachers' WATCHDOG on all issues that
affect retired teachers. ARTC has continued to
work for retired teachers since 1946 and its
mission is to:
Provide concerted and cooperative means of
promoting the economic, professional, and
social well-being of the retired teachers of
Encourage the participation of retirees in
service to their communities and their
Advocate the continuous improvement of
education in the schools of Connecticut.
As the advocate for retired
teachers we were finally able to secure the
State Teachers' Pension for the next 25 years.
We joined with other groups to increase the
state subsidy for those teachers over 65 that
are not covered by Medicare.
We are actively working with other states to
eliminate the Social Security Offsets, the WEP
and GPO. We are in the front line to eliminate
the state income tax on state pensions for those
Our success is directly related to the strength
of our membership. With your support we will be
Help ARTC stand up for your
benefits and rights by contacting state and
federal lawmakers on the latest issues of