L.C. "Buster" Evans, executive director of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, is seen in this 2015 photo when he was assistant commissioner with the Georgia Department of Corrections. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL
Photo: Jonathan Phillips
Photo: Jonathan Phillips

Big tab expected to fund pensions owed to retired Georgia teachers in the future

Georgia lawmakers aim to keep a close eye on the state’s $78 billion pension system for teachers that educators say is vital for recruitment and retention and that some legislators call unsustainable.

House members on Monday moved forward two bills aimed at making the system more financially stable and paying off the liability it faces for future pensions more quickly. The system’s executive director, Buster Evans said that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

How big is the system?

  • It collected $2 billion last year in taxpayer contributions from the state and local school districts, and paid out $4.7 billion to retired educators.
  • The average pension payment last year was just under $37,000.
  • 127,223 retirees received benefits in 2018
  • More than 200,000 current teachers, school and university system employees pay into the Teachers Retirement System.

» Related: Shoring up teacher pension system could cost Georgia big money

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