Hi Terry,

I am almost 61 years old and have earned 32 work credits prior to 1990. I have worked with the Chicago Public Schools since 1990 and since have not earned anymore work credits. I plan to retire in four to five years.

My question is should I be trying to earn the other 8 work credits before I retire? I am aware of the much lower financial benefits for receiving a pension from the city.

Looking forward to your response.

Terry Says:   The benefits you get from work done outside the public school system are somewhat offset by the pension you will receive from teaching.  I can’t give you a specific amount of the “offset” — but I’m thinking that it can’t hurt to get those other 8 credits for several reasons — not the least of which is the upcoming pension problems for the teachers pension fund.  If –and it would take a constitutional change — pension benefits are reduced, or cannot be fully paid, then you would have your Social Security to fall back on.  After all, the government can “print” the money to pay the benefits!

If you want to know the specific impact of the offset, go to www.SocialSecurity.gov and talk with one of the experts there who can evaluate the SS benefits you have, or will have, earned — and also calculate the amount of your pension offset.

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