Michigan Teacher Peeved She Can't Retire at 47


The Michigan teachers union is outraged by a bill working its way though the legislature that would require that teachers to pay into their own pension plans. Under SB 1040, teachers would contribute 5-10 percent of their pay toward their pensions. The bill would also require retirees to be 60 before they can receive health benefits.

The tragic result:

Saginaw Township teacher Terry List had hoped to retire in the next three years when she was 47 years old. That wouldn't be possible under SB 1040. List would have to work another 16 years to be eligible for health benefits. 


List noted in her testimony to the state's Senate Appropriations Committee that she is pretty expensive. The folks at Michigan's Mackinac Center agree, estimating that she currently earns between $70,000 and $80,000 a year, and will probably earn $90,000 by the time she is 60. 

Back to the Michigan Education Association's website, List laments:

"By the time I'm 60, I would have put in 43 years of service, earning a salary at the top of the pay scale. How does that save the district money? You could hire two people for the cost of one and encourage young people to join the profession.

Err. Not exactly. List can expect to take home about $60,000 a year in retirement, with annual adjustments upward after that—while no longer providing any services to the state. 

Via the very useful David Hogberg.

NEXT: Brickbat: Freedom Is All Academic

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  1. Forget gangsters, HBO should do a gritty, sexy show about teachers.

    1. I guess everyone’s got a kink. Enjoy the sand in your vaseline.

    2. Boston Public was a terrible show.

      Jus’ sayin’

      1. You shut your lying mouth!

    3. They already did. “Wherever you go, there you are.”

    4. For all of David Simon’s and Ed Burns’s good work, this kind of corruption should have been part The Wire. The best we got was teachers that didn’t give much of a shit, but there should have been stuff about the teachers union which would have contrasted nicely with the stevedores.

  2. I was wrong to doubt Matt Damon. Public school teaching really is a noble profession full of dedicated, selfless public servants.

  3. good grief..please tell me this woman is not teaching math or economics. The sense of entitlement among these public-sector folks is mind-boggling.

    Here’s an idea and it could apply to ALL govt employees: let them retire after 20 or 25 years on the job, BUT they don’t get to collect pensions till they hit 65. And when teachers whine about retirement, it sorta kills the “for the children” meme.

    1. Better idea.

      Fuck their pensions.

      They can collect SS at 67 and save in an IRA like everyone else.

    2. I’d rather she teach math than History.

  4. Retire at 47 and be a substitute teacher on the side for extra money while still collecting a pension. Sounds like a good racket if you can put up with all the bullshit requirements to get a teaching license.

    1. Why woudl you substitute teach if you have $60k a year pension coming in?

      1. That cabin on the lake isn’t going to grow its own dock.

      2. Getting paid $80-100/day (in rural OH, at least) to read, and then only on days you want to… not so bad.

  5. You are all missing the point.

    This is yet another problem that national health insurance would solve.

    1. You’re the winner.

  6. is katherine chavez suggesting that michigan nationalize the defined contributions which accrue?

  7. Most people these days don’t retire until they reach their 70s, so Ms. List can go fuck herself.

  8. Retire at 47?!? WTF?!?

    1. It’s shameful, isn’t it? Making teachers wait until they’re 47 to retire?

      They should be able to punch out at 40, or after five years of service, with full pay and benefits for life regardless of future employment.

      Or do you hate Our Children?

      1. I do hate your children, Hugh. A LOT.

        1. It ain’t the children I hate. It’s the parents constantly trying to tell me I have some responsibility to their sprogs, and that I should help child-proof the planet because the parents are lazy fucks who won’t raise their own crotchfruit.

          1. It ain’t the children I hate. It’s the parents constantly trying to tell me I have some responsibility to their sprogs, and that I should help child-proof the planet because the parents are lazy fucks who won’t raise their own crotchfruit.


            It was tough to tell the difference before I had kids, but I can say with scientific certainty that kids are not the problem; it’s their fucking parents.

        2. It’s really not fair to them to pass your hatred of him on down.

      2. Students can’t be first if Teachers are last.

        Try parsing that slogan.

        The Michigan Education Association is betting on the taxpayers of Michigan being idiots.

        The Michigan Education Association is who educated the taxpayers of Michigan.

        You do the math.

        1. My new motto on pubsec education:

          Students can’t be first if teachers are first.

    2. Not only that, but she can buy down her retirement age. Pay a little, get a lot.

      1. Sounds like she understands math to me.

    3. *whistles a jaunty tune*
      *looks at calendar showing 8 years until he can retire at 42*
      *slowly backs out of room*

      1. If you can retire at 42 on your own, more power to you. If you’re retiring on my money, look out. The pendulum eventually comes crashing back the other way….

        1. Uh, you do see his handle, right?

        2. A few years ago I realized that there was no way, no how, that the retirement benefits I will have when I initially retire in the next decade or so, will survive until I die. Somethings, most things(?), will need to be cut. I opted to start some civilian-based retirement plans and not rely on Uncle Sugar to provide for me.

          As some of my peers have been gnashing teeth and rending garments over the proposed changes DOD is now considering, I sit, comfortable, knowing that I have a legitimate plan that doesn’t rely on some ill-defined “promise”.

          But, until those cuts actually arrive I do appreciate the government’s largess with your money.

    4. I did, but not on public money.

    5. On towns along the border of NC and VA, it’s common for teachers from NC to retire early and put in another 20 years in VA to double down on the pensions.

      Say what you will about teachers, I am a little jealous of the ability to plan that far ahead.

    6. Cops are even worse. They seem to routinely retire at 45 or so.

    7. I’m 47. I’d like to retire. Yeah.

  9. Teachers still have pensions? I thought those went out with the rotary phone.

    1. I have a rotary phone.

    2. Only in the real world. In the public sector, pensions are very much alive and growing.

  10. I hope she finds a used condom at the bottom of her mayonaise jar.

    1. ugh ! as bad as unexpectedly getting a vaca pic of some dude combing his scrotum hairs w one’s toothbrush.

  11. List can expect to take home about $60,000 a year in retirement, with annual adjustments upward after that…

    So about the equivalent of a $1.5 million portfolio, plus medical coverage. Woe is her.

  12. contribute 5-10 percent of their pay toward their pensions

    Jesus Buttfucking Christ, I hate teachers.

    1. Anyone who complains about having to put their own money into their retirement, deserves to be fired from teaching – and forbidden to interact with children without supervision.

  13. So she’ll have worked 43 years if she works until 60? Who the fuck hires a 17 year old teacher?

    1. Yeah, I am really curious to know what subject she teaches

      1. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Central Michigan University with a major in English and Political Science. I also have a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from SVSU. I taught eight years of high school English in Florida and coached a nationally ranked coed cheerleading squad. I have been teaching 8th grade English language arts at White Pine for 9 years. I enjoy reading, playing golf, volleyball, and spending time with family and friends. I went to White Pine when it was Douglas MacArthur High School. I guess we all return to our roots. I am proud to be an educator for Saginaw Township Community Schools.


        1. “”Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership “”

          So what does a Masters Degree in Education Leadership for an 8th grade teacher involve, making sure the students line up on field trips or don’t throw spitballs?

          1. It means nothing. Various state colleges act as diploma mills because degrees lead to raises, degrees which are subsidized by the state.

            State pays a state school to “educate” a teachers in a joke program so the teacher can get paid more by the state (fed, state, or local money, doesn’t really matter), which funds state colleges to have large education departments. After getting degreed, the teachers usually go back to teaching the same classes at the same load as before. Get paid more to do the same work based on a useless degree which probably costs you little to nothing to get.

            It’s a fucking con game funded by taxpayer money in order to extract more taxpayer money. Public schools and state colleges are symbiotic parasites, untied in their cause to drain us dry.

            1. Exactly like…police officers.

            2. untied in their cause to drain us dry.

              And just imagine what would happen if they worked together!

              1. stupid typing

                1. stupid typing

                  It actually works. It simply means “unrestrained” or “unbound” to suck productive people of their life giving essence.

            3. The same happens all through government. They are suppose to get raises and promotion based on merit. So they come up with all these Masters and Doctoral programs so that government employees can document their merit. Whether it actually increases job performance is ignored, just as long as the proper boxes can be filled in on the hiring, promotion and raise forms.

              1. It’s even worse than that. They turn around and use those degrees to argue that their higher than average pay is justified.

        2. If I didn’t make it clear, the above is Terri List’s profile from the school site.

        3. one of my old friends has a retired mother and father who are both retired school (as in High School) teachers. He was bragging about his dad’s multiple Master’s degree, to which I said, “It isn’t like an engineering degree”.

          1. I have several family members and friends (well, spouses of friends) who are elementary, middle, and high school teachers. They all have at least one Masters degree in something education related. Every single one of them is an utter moron.

        4. I like long walks on the beach, snuggling, and romantic dinners for two.

        5. Well there you go. I live in Michigan, and Central Michigan Univ has a reputation as a party school. Almost all Michigan physical education teachers went there.

    2. That caught my eye too. I wonder if she worked some sort of part-time clerkish job with the BOE starting in high school and gets to use that as part of her years of service. Or she just sucks at math (and hopefully isn’t the math teacher because if she is, her students are fucked.)

      1. Based off of Ex Nihilo’s post she’ll have 33 years of service when she retires at 60. Good to know, she just sucks at math.

  14. Saginaw Township teacher Terry List had hoped to retire in the next three years when she was 47 years old. That wouldn’t be possible under SB 1040.

    1. I had to remove the following line to avoid the previous post’s being invalid. WTF?

      Sure it would, she’d just have to pay for her own medical, right?

  15. I like that they estimated her salary to be between $70-80k. Know what we’ve got access to? Suck on that! Obligatory YMMV

    And here is the Bureau of Labor statistics with # of teachers and mean salary:

    Kindergarten teachers, except special education – 164,910 @52,350

    Elementary school teachers, except special education – 1,415,590 @55,270

    Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education – 642,820 @55,780

    Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education – 1,004,850 @56,760

    1. Actually, just checked the Saginaw Township Teachers Salary database – Terri List has a base salary of $77,654.

      1. Typically, teacher salraies are structured so they grow alot over the teachers career. So even though the mean is about 50k, the new teachers are all getting about 30k and the older teachers are getting about 70k.

      2. That’s with summers off, 2 weeks off at Christmas, a week off for spring break, and countless little holidays like MLK day, Columbus day, etc.

    2. When the fuck did teachers start making that much? Maybe I should have become a math teacher.

  16. So they were still hiring 17 year old teachers in 1984? I know that was cool in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s time but I thought you needed a little college these days.

    1. I had to remove the quote from the article for this comment to be valid. Ya’ll squirrels is cray-zay.

    2. We’d be better with the 17 year old teachers from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s days. Have you seen what 10 year old kids were reading back then? More advanced material than most high schoolers read today.

      Those education colleges primarily exist to produce stupid teachers who won’t be able to teach students anything that might upset the status quo.

  17. You could hire two people for the cost of one and encourage young people to join the profession.

    Thank you for making the argument against tenure for pubsec teachers.

  18. …the Michigan Eduction Association…


  19. Her 43 years of service at age 60 stinks of union seniority rules. She probably had some kind of unpaid internship or something when she was still in high school, and that gets counted as the beginning of her service.

    These kinds of scams are universal. There was a big stink in Chicago recently over union goons putting in one day of service in a government shop in order to bet a pubsec pension based on their (much higher) union pay.

    1. Much like…police officers. Working insane OT for the last year or so before eligible for their pension…and paid at that higher, distorted rate. For life.

      1. That happens through out state and local government.

        Another scam is a late promotion in the last year before retirement and the pension is based on the highest salary earned. Often it does not have to even be for a whole year, a single months paycheck at a higher rate will up the pension

        1. I’ve been telling everyone for years, we can gripe and moan about it, but nothing short of shipping off the public sector to a Martian penal colony is going to solve the problem.

          1. I can deal with that solution.

          2. Death camps wouldn’t do?

      2. Every single government employee in the state of Illinois does that. Every. One.

        Another favorite they like to do for each other is give themselves promotions and then retire two weeks later so their retirement is based on their last job.

    2. Please leave Chicago out of it.

  20. Older teachers are generally next to useless anyway.

  21. Sounds to me like she probably is not providing any services to the state at present.

    Or worse, she is providing services to the State, but a disservice to the People.

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