Down Economy Keeps CT Teachers Working

May 26, 2009 ( - Carole Pannozzo, executive director of human resources for Bridgeport's schools, sees nearly half the number of teachers retiring this year as she usually sees.

The economy has caused many teachers eligible to retire to decide against it, she said, according to the Connecticut Post. She told the city’s Board of Education she has 22 teachers retiring this year, but normally she would have 40.

The experience is the same throughout the state. According to the Connecticut Retirement Board, 786 certified educators have submitted paperwork to retire this year, compared to 1,029 a year ago, the news report said.

The Board attributes the fewer number of retirements to the economy, higher health insurance costs and deflated 403(b) retirement accounts. In addition, normally teachers would retire before age 65 and move on to other opportunities within and outside education, but no one is hiring.

While fewer retirements helps retain teacher skills and knowledge (see Phased Retirement Key to Coping with Teacher Brain Drain ), it also hurts district budgets. In Bridgeport officials are unlikely to achieve all of the $900,000 in savings projected when staffers at the top of the pay scale were expected to be replaced by new hires paid a starting salary, the Post said.