To provide members with a secure pension.
To be the model for pension fund excellence...
The New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS) was established in 1921 by an act of the state legislature and is the second-largest of eight public retirement systems in New York State. NYSTRS administers the fund from which public school teachers and administrators employed outside New York City receive retirement and ancillary benefits.
NYSTRS directs a defined benefit plan... Payments to eligible members and beneficiaries are guaranteed by law and cannot be reduced under New York's current constitution... [Read this statement again].
NYSTRS Remains Financially Strong, Well-Funded
[NYSTRS] is one of the best-funded in the nation. More than 80% of benefits are paid to NY residents. The Retirement System’s investment portfolio returned 2.8% net of fees for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 – in line with returns posted by peer pension funds. The 2.8% return followed 2011 and 2010 returns of 23.2% and 12.1%, respectively. The System’s funded ratio of 96.7% far exceeds the industry average of 75%, making NYSTRS one of the best-funded plans in the nation. [Compare the Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois’ funded ratio at 42%.]
NYSTRS’ 25-year return of 8.5% remains higher than the assumed rate of 8%.
These figures and much more can be found in NYSTRS’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012…
“Like all public pension systems, NYSTRS is a long-term investor with liabilities not due for 30 years or more,” said NYSTRS Board President R. Michael Kraus… Also of critical importance to plan health, Kraus added, is the fact that NYSTRS receives required employer and employee contributions on time and in full. Financially troubled plans in other states cannot make the same claim. In these states, plans are struggling because of this lack of adequate funding. [Read the last two sentences again].
Other highlights… include:
- …Net assets totaled $88.1 billion at June 30, 2012. (Net assets represent funds available to pay current and future benefits.) [What would the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois’ net assets be today if the liars and thieves of the Illinois General Assemblies and governors had not embezzled $15 billion? Furthermore, how much would that $15 billion investment have earned throughout the decades?]
- …Fiscal year benefit payments totaled $5.9 billion. More than 80% of these benefits were paid to New York residents, whose spending is vital to the local, state and national economies. [How vital are the public employees to the Illinois local, state and national economies? “The $3.1 billion in pensions and benefits paid to retired teachers and school administrators in Illinois during fiscal year 2012 created a sustained economic stimulus of approximately $4.432 billion that reached all 102 Illinois counties, according to a recent study conducted by the Teachers’ Retirement System.”]
“[Now] I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it and stick your head out and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’” like Howard Beale did in the film Network (1976).
Why should you be “Mad as Hell”? Members of the Illinois General Assembly are attempting to steal even more money from your pension and to assault your constitutional rights and benefits.
Tell them to focus on the solutions for the state’s structural revenue deficit and pension debt: the problems past legislators have created and present legislators and the corporate media choose to ignore.
Tell them they need to establish a graduated income tax (HJRCA 0002), re-amortize the existing pension ramp, broaden the tax base, eliminate tax loopholes for “Tax Increment Financing Districts” and large corporations, increase taxation on the wealthy, and make the required payments to the pension systems instead of shifting the normal costs to school districts and colleges. In other words, honor contracts and pay the debts.
Remind them that “pension reform” violates both the State and U.S. Constitutions that all legislators have sworn to uphold; remind them that “pension reform” will hurt the working middle class, increase unemployment, and negatively impact the state’s economy. Tell them how "MAD" you are, and that you WILL NOT vote for them in the next election.
"Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning. It is an end...; therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy" (Elie Wiesel).