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pension payments. Equally unsatisfactory is the expectation of paying pensions, when they fall due, from current school or other funds, without any assurance that these funds will be adequate; or from special or general appropriations, without any certainty that such appropriations will be made by future and perhaps unsympathetic administrations. Indeed it is not uncommon to limit in advance the sums that may be taken from such sources, thus reducing the proportion of the pension that can be paid, or leaving the whole question of payment largely to accident.

The only way in which absolute security can be obtained is for the contribution of the public as well as that of the teacher to be paid annually, credited to the individual teacher, and set aside to accumulate until the time of his retirement. This also is the only economical method. Any system which agrees to pay a pension from current funds after the teacher retires, plans to spend two or three times as much money as would be required if sums were set aside each year to accumulate during the teacher's period of service. Any other method is parallel to issuing bonds without provision for retiring them.

Pension systems are still too generally organized without estimating their cost. The probable length of life of a teacher in service or after retirement may be estimated from the tables of mortality that have been developt by the life insurance companies, with adjustment for the fact that teachers live longer than other people. Some basis is becoming available for estimates of the likelihood of disability and the probable length of life after retirement because of disability. It is wise to avoid, so far as possible, basing pensions upon salaries at or near the age of retirement, since no one can predict what any teachers' salary will be thirty, or forty, or fifty years hence.

There is, of course, a definite relation between the benefits and the cost of pensions. No one can secure expensive benefits in return for very small contributions. Only failure awaits the systems which promise retirement after twenty years of service or at the age of fifty; or in which teachers contribute only one-half of 1 per cent of their salaries, or the public contributes only one-half as much as the teachers.

Such errors may easily be corrected by a very simple pension system based upon conservative tables of mortality and upon a safe rate of interest, with the provision that the teacher receives the benefit of the accumulation of all of his contributions and those made for him. It is possible to estimate with reasonable definiteness what certain desired benefits will cost, or what benefits can be had for the money available. It is easy to estimate what any annual contribution, beginning at any age and accumulating at a given percentage, will amount to after any number of years. If then the money is deposited in a central fund, each contributor can be guaranteed a definite annuity for life, since the lives of all are averaged in the standard mortality tables. Thus an annual contribution of $100 a year, beginning at

the age of twenty-five, and accumulated at 4 per cent interest, will amount at sixty-five to $8,882.65, at seventy to $12,587.06. These sums will provide a man with an annuity for life, according to the McClintock Table of Mortality and 3 per cent interest, of $1086 a year beginning at sixty-five, or $1681 a year beginning at seventy. If, on the other hand, a man wishes to be sure of a life annuity of $1000 a year at sixty-five or seventy, he knows that this will cost $9098.60 or $8642.40 at those ages, and that it would require an annual contribution of $92 or of $68 a year from the age of twenty-five to accumulate these sums. The annuities from such a contribution for women, who live longer than men, would be about four-fifths of the sums that have been mentioned.

These figures imply a return of the accumulations of the teachers who die before retirement and of those who withdraw from the system for any reason. If it is desired for the sake of family protection, there may be also a return of the balance of the accumulations of the teachers who retire but die before they have drawn all of their accumulations. This also can be calculated from standard mortality and interest tables. This protection costs about one-fourth more than a straight annuity. If further protection is desired against disability, this can be similarly provided, by the use of the best tables that we have, with the proviso that the rates for those who enter into the system in the future may be modified according to future experience.

A pension system of the kind that has been mentioned is just and fair to all concerned, giving the teacher secure and adequate protection at a reasonable cost to himself and to the public.

Such a system provides for retirement on the basis of age or of disability after any suitable period of service. The age of retirement, which is now usually fixt, can, if desired, be left to the teacher and the administration. If the need is great retirement may be earlier, in spite of the fact that the smaller accumulations would then make the pension smaller. In general, retirement will in all probability be later than at present because of the larger pension provided by the longer accumulation, and the educational desirability of keeping the able teacher in service as long as possible.

Disability can be provided for by using whatever money has been accumulated at the time when retirement becomes unavoidable, perhaps with some supplement from the state until statistical experience makes it possible to provide specifically for disability.

The newer system provides full protection for both the teacher and those who are dependent upon him, since the form of contribution sets up a contractual relation which provides definite returns in case of withdrawal or death. Return of contribution in case of resignation is now arranged for, but return in case of dismissal and in the case of death is seldom provided for. Contractual arrangements for the return of contributions will facilitate the desirable transfer of the teacher from one system to another.

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Indeed, with the spread of sound plans, pension systems thruout the country will become more and more uniform, so that the experience of each will help all. Continuity of employment during efficiency and good behavior is essential to any sound pension system.




Our schools are in danger. Their present support cannot keep up former standards, much less meet war demands.

The money now available is not sufficient to instruct five million illiterates, to Americanize thirteen million foreigners, to provide physical and health education for all children, to secure adequate school terms and attendance, to pay teachers a living wage, and to provide for their professional preparation, development, security, and protection in disability and old


The teachers of the country were not receiving a living wage before the war; their present situation is critical. In 1915 they received an average annual salary of $543. The increase since then has been small.

Immediate national aid is urgently needed. Increast local taxation and state support will not suffice; such support will of necessity be available in very unequal degree even if it could be had quickly.

Education in agriculture and the mechanic and household arts has long been recognized as essential to national welfare, and national funds are provided to equalize its burdens and maintain its standards.

General public education is even more essential to national welfare to promote the allegiance, intelligence, morality, and devotion of all citizens.

National support of general public education, begun in 1785, confirmed. in the ordinance of 1787, and extended thereafter, should now be increast to the extent of a liberal cooperation with the state, and thru the state with the local community.

A national department of education should be establisht to carry out this program of cooperation.

The National Education Association, in order to collect full information concerning the present state of public education, to enlighten public opinion, and to aid in securing appropriate local, state, and national school support, hereby authorizes the Executive Committee to secure the full time, for a term of not less than three years, of an educator of recognized ability and


experience, and to provide for the organization, correspondence, travel, publication, and other expenses of his office, a total sum, including salaries, of at least ten thousand dollars a year.


Committee on Salaries, Tenure, and Pensions

Commission on the National Emergency in Education

NOTE. This Resolution was unanimously adopted by the National Education Association at Pittsburgh, July 5, 1918.

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