Maine teachers, people deciding to change professions to go into teaching, and people coming from other states to teach in Maine need to know that if they retire from teaching anytime after l982 they are in danger of losing their entire spousal benefit from Social Security, and if they retire anytime after l986, they are in danger of losing about 60 percent of their Social Security benefits due them for the time they worked under Social Security.

Of course, no one expects to collect benefits for any quarters they did not pay into Social Security.

In 15 states public employees opted out of the Social Security system, deciding to pay into the state retirement system only. But that shouldn’t mean that they cannot collect for the quarters that they did pay in.

Wonderfully qualified professional people who take the coursework necessary to become teachers halfway through their working lives forfeit their many years of contributing to Social Security.

Retired teachers working to supplement their state retirement have to pay into a Social Security system that will not benefit them.

Teachers who want to relocate to live in Maine, and come from a state where public employees are covered by Social Security, lose their benefits if they teach and then retire from Maine.

Often, teachers are not aware of these things until they retire. Teachers need to know before they make decisions about their futures.

Jean Boyd, Buckfield

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