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Old 07-16-2009, 01:47 PM
 
1 posts, read 11,516 times
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I'm thinking about getting my teaching certification for NJ and would like to know what teacher benefits consist of (i.e., health, dental, vacation pay, pension, etc) and what the monthly costs are to the teachers. Also how does the pension plan work. I'm 45 and starting late, so what would I be entitled to at retirement? I just need to know if I can afford to be a teacher. Thx.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Ocean County
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This one should be good...
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:15 PM
 
1,908 posts, read 2,831,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marpena View Post
I'm thinking about getting my teaching certification for NJ and would like to know what teacher benefits consist of (i.e., health, dental, vacation pay, pension, etc) and what the monthly costs are to the teachers. Also how does the pension plan work. I'm 45 and starting late, so what would I be entitled to at retirement? I just need to know if I can afford to be a teacher. Thx.

Unless you know someone in the higher ups you wont be getting a job as a teacher any time soon. I dont care what district, its just a tough job market right now.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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Agreed.... making the switch into teaching is not quick & easy. I have been trying to do it for a year now through Alternate Route, (and I have relevant experience... I have been working as a children's counselor for the last 7 years) yet still have had no success. Teaching in NJ is a saturated field, and unless you know somebody who can get you a position, I would not recommend making the switch.
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania & New Jersey
1,462 posts, read 3,254,309 times
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Default Salaries and benefits earned by New Jersey teachers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marpena View Post
I'm thinking about getting my teaching certification for NJ and would like to know what teacher benefits consist of (i.e., health, dental, vacation pay, pension, etc) and what the monthly costs are to the teachers. Also how does the pension plan work. I'm 45 and starting late, so what would I be entitled to at retirement? I just need to know if I can afford to be a teacher. Thx.
In New Jersey, unlike many other states, there is no statewide mandate for teachers' employment benefits in the areas of health, dental, vision, and vacation pay -- nor salary. Each school district negotiates the salaries and benefits it will provide for its teacher employees with the teachers' union of that district. Accordingly, some districts charge teachers for the partial cost of these benefits, others do not. It all depends on the district's contract with the union.

Salary: Depending on your background and the district you're hired by, your salary will start in the low to mid 40's +/- $7000.

Health Benefits: Many (but not all) districts participate in the Teacher Employees' State Health Benefits Plan. The plan offers four different benefit plans to choose from. Many people think the best of the four choices is NJ Direct 10 administered by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Info on the plan is available at www.horizonblue.com/sbhp Vision is often a component of the health plan.

Dental is sometimes offered separately, sometimes not at all. Sometimes dental is only offered for the employee and not the family, or the family may be covered at an additional cost.

Vacation pay is a subject of intense debate. Most New Jersey teachers are not paid during the months of July or August while school is out of session. The vast majority of teachers are salaried during the 10 month school year, hence they usually get periodic "vacation" within these ten months only when school is closed, (with the exception of coaching duties or other extra-curricular duties which may continue even when school is out.) Winter recess (Christmas break) and spring break (which until recently was the week before or after Easter) are usually at least one week long.

Teachers are allowed to be absent when sick, the number of days being inconsistent throughout the state but usually between five and ten days per year. Once again, it's a function of the contract negotiated between the district and the union. Also, most districts permit teachers three absences per year for personal reasons.

The pension system is statewide. Teachers pay into it in a substantial way, contributing 5.5% of their salary - which is likely to go up in the future given that the teachers' pension system, like most pension systems, is extremely underfunded.

An estimate of a retiree's pension can be made using the calculator found at the pension benefit web site: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/estimate-tpaf.htm: (broken link)
From the referenced web site:

"Service Retirement is available to any active TPAF member age 60 or older. No minimum years of service are required. The annual retirement allowance is based on the following formula: Years of Service divided by 55 times Final Average Salary equals Annual Retirement Allowance. Final Average Salary means the average salary for the three years immediately preceding your retirement. If your last three years are not your highest years of salary, use your three highest fiscal years (July - June) of salary."

You're now 45. Hence, if you've put in 20 years and retire at 65 your benefit would be 20/55 of the average salary earned during your top three fiscal years. Assuming you've reached the top of the pay scale... roughly $90,000+/-, your annual pension would be about $33,000 (in current dollars).

Also, some teachers contribute to 403(b) plans, much like the 401(k) available in private industry.

I hope helps you make the right decision. Good luck in your decision and your search~
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:09 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 30,497,996 times
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^^^^ awesome post.

Now, the question has been answered. If anyone has more to add that PERTAINS to the question, please do so. Otherwise...don't bother. Catch my drift?!
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:18 PM
 
543 posts, read 1,308,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marpena View Post
I'm thinking about getting my teaching certification for NJ and would like to know what teacher benefits consist of (i.e., health, dental, vacation pay, pension, etc) and what the monthly costs are to the teachers. Also how does the pension plan work. I'm 45 and starting late, so what would I be entitled to at retirement? I just need to know if I can afford to be a teacher. Thx.
It is a graduated or tiered system, meaning each year of teaching increases your salary and benefits (pension). How many years you put in translates to how much pension you will receive. I don't believe there are any costs, although I think that you may have to contribute part of your salary to healthcare at this point. At 45, you could hopefully work for 15+ yrs and get a decent pension. One suggestion, go for an area with high need, such as Special Education or Math/Science.
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
2,771 posts, read 5,337,333 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickDD View Post
The pension system is statewide. Teachers pay into it in a substantial way, contributing 5.5% of their salary - which is likely to go up in the future given that the teachers' pension system, like most pension systems, is extremely underfunded.
While politicians can close this to future employees, once you're in you are pretty much set. Government can raise the retirement age, but it's not politically feasible to cut benefits -- they really have to bail out the plan if it fails. If they need to increase contributions too much to save the plan, they will need to increase salaries as well. "Underfunded" is ultimately good for you -- it means that you don't have to put in very much compared to what you get to take out.

Therefore, if you are offered a choice between a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan (like a 401k), take the defined benefit plan. A government guaranteed 8% risk free return is nothing to sneeze at.

If you can put additional funds into a 403b as well as keeping the pension plan, by all means do that.

Good luck with your search.
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