In the last bargain, PAT stopped the District from taking away a valuable benefit. We protected what is called the “PERS Bubble” (officially called “Re-employment of Retirees”) and the Early Retirement Incentive. Both of those provisions are explained in detail in Article 15 of the PAT/PPS contract.
The PERS Bubble refers to the ability of a PAT member to officially retire under the PERS system during the middle of the school year, but work through the end of the year. This saves PPS money, as they no longer have to make PERS contributions for the educator who retires, because they are essentially “substituting” for themselves for the rest of the year. The educator’s earnings remain intact, PPS saves money, and the students have continuity of instruction. It’s a true win-win.
In order to be eligible for the benefit, a member must retire after November 30th, and provide the District with at least 30 days notice before their official PERS resignation date. For example, if a member wishes to retire at the start of Winter Break on December 17, 2018, they would need to submit the official District Resignation Form at least thirty days prior – approximately November 15th.
We have also preserved the Early Retirement Incentive. For educators with at least 15 years of service, this benefit provides insurance contributions for the retired professional educator, and one-half the contribution to the cost of insurance for a spouse or domestic partner, for up to 60 months or until the professional educator becomes eligible for Medicare. The Early Retirement Incentive also provides a stipend of $425 per month, for up to 60 months, with the exact details spelled out in Article 15.
Finally, keep in mind that there is a one-time stipend of $1250 for any educator who gives written notice of retirement to the District prior to January 15th, and a stipend of $700 to any professional educator who gives written notice of retirement prior to February 15th.
Each of these benefits assures that educators are able to retire with dignity when they feel it’s time. They are benefits that all PAT members should receive, and they are benefits that we have all fought to maintain.