Health insurance benefits have become a key decision in choosing a career path. In fact, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, many workers choose careers simply based on the health benefits they provide alone.
The lawmakers of New Jersey understand the appeal of a comprehensive system of benefits, and attract qualified teachers to the state with affordable health coverage and retirement planning services. By offering teachers lifetime pensions and health benefits, New Jersey hopes to retain a high-quality teaching force.
As teachers further their educations and gain experience in the field, they receive pay increases that reflect their dedication and hard work. Salaries may vary between school districts, but the following are some examples of the salaries you can expect in New Jersey:
At 3 years
At 6 years
At 9 years
At 12 years
Source: Orange Public Schools
Retiring in New Jersey
Once you are employed as a public teacher in New Jersey, you are enrolled in the statewide Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF). This fund was created to administer lifetime retirement assets to teachers that become available upon retirement.
The TPAF manages a defined benefit retirement plan that gives teachers a percentage of their salaries as a pension benefit. The more years of service you accrue, the larger the percentage of salary you collect.
To help fund the defined benefit plan, you are required to contribute 6.5% of your regular annual salary, while your employer contributes an additional percentage that fluctuates.
Your contributions are put into the TPAF account until you are eligible to retire. You qualify for full retirement benefits when you are age 65 or older with any amount of service years.
Once you reach retirement age, you will receive your monthly pension. The pension payments are based on your final average salary and your length of service:
Years of Service multiplied by 55 multiplied by Final Average Salary
For example, if you retire after 30 years of service with a final average salary of $62,000, you will receive $2,818 per month.
In the state of New Jersey, each school district negotiates the health insurance benefits it will provide for teachers with the local teachers’ union.
Accordingly, some districts will charge teachers a portion of their health benefit costs, while other districts will not. Your premium and out-of-pocket expenses will be determined by the school district you work for.
Many school districts participate in the Teacher Employees’ State Health Benefits Plan. This program offers four different medical insurance plans to choose from. All plans will cover a portion of medical service, including:
X-Ray and Laboratory
In addition to medical insurance, many districts offer an optional dental insurance plan to employees and their families.
If you’re interested in learning more about all the health benefits available to New Jersey teachers, contact your local school district.