MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
92nd Annual Conference
October 11-15, 2014
NCTR looks forward to bringing our membership together once again View 2014 Conference Information
The 91st Annual Conference was a huge success! View more...
Mark Your Calendar!
NCTR is proud to announce that Texas TRS will host the Deputy Director/Communication Specialists and Administrative Assistants Workshop as well as the 27th Annual Directors' Meeting in Austin, TX. Stay tuned for more information!
2014 Spring Workshops
Hosted at Texas TRS
Registration Now Open!
DEPUTY DIRECTOR & COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST WORKSHOP
APRIL 29-MAY 1:
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT WORKSHOP
Registration Opens in March
SHERATON AUSTIN HOTEL
(please book by May 10)
701 East 11th Street
Austin Texas 78701
Main Phone: 512-478-1111
Hotel Reservations: Click here
Welcome Reception and Dinner
Meeting hosted at Texas TRS
Registration Opens in April
NCTR will host our three-day workshop on the West Coast July 2014. Stay tuned for more information!
Pension Fund job postings view...
Renewal for 2014
Membership renewal for 2014 is underway!
If you wish to update your membership or have questions, please contact us!
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NCTR membership includes 68 state, territorial and local pension systems. These systems serve more than 19 million active and retired teachers, non- teaching personnel, and other public employees, and have combined assets of over $2 trillion in their trust funds.
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Executive Director's Letter to Pew
March 11, 2014
I am writing concerning the Pew Charitable Trusts' Center on the States and its "Public Sector Retirement Systems Project."
Specifically, I am very troubled by the involvement, both in terms of funding and actual hands-on participation, of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, with whom I understand Pew has partnered and from whom I understand it has accepted a grant of $4.85 million. Read more
CalSTRS - Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
See CalSTRS cutting edge efforts in increasing their sustainability efforts with staff as part of their strategic plan. CalSTRS is working towards being the first U.S. public pension plan to be a GRI entity. View video
Fourth Quarter 2013 read more...
NCTR's Principles and Positions
The National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR) believes that all Americans should have access to a pension plan that will provide adequate and reliable retirement security. View NCTR's Principles and Positions
Update your Membership Information
NCTR Active Members:
It's time to update the NCTR member database and website View Form
Download WORD VERSION of Form
Federal Governmental Relations
WNET to Return $3.5 Million Arnold Foundation Grant
WNET, the New York City public television broadcaster, and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) issued a joint statement on Friday, February 14, 2014, announcing that WNET was returning a $3.5 million dollar grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. The money was being used to fund “Pension Peril,” a two-year WNET initiative that aired in part on the PBS NewsHour Weekend, and according to The New York Times, will now “go on hiatus,” although WNET will continue to report on the topic, which it considers to be “a matter of journalistic importance.”
The statement said that while PBS stands by WNET’s reporting in this series, the station has decided to return the money “in order to eliminate any perception on the part of the public, our viewers, and donors that the Foundation’s interests influenced the editorial integrity of the reporting for this program.”
“We made a mistake, pure and simple,” said Stephen Segaller, Vice President of Programming at WNET. He said that it was WNET who sought the funding, and that the Arnold Foundation “did not direct or prescribe our reporting, never attempted to do so, and is not responsible for our mistake.”
In a related story, the PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler, wrote that while he has “quarrels” with some of the language and characterizations used in the article by David Sirota, writing in PandoDaily, who broke the news about the connection between the Arnold Foundation and the news series on Wednesday the 12th, he thought that it was nevertheless an important story. It “shines a light, once again, on what seems to me to be ethical compromises in funding arrangements and lack of real transparency for viewers,” he wrote.
Getler concluded that “there is clearly a danger of hard-to-prove self-censorship by PBS-related producers somewhere along the line when large funders with political agendas wind up as big-money supporters of public broadcasting.” Meredith Williams, Executive Director of the National Council on Teacher retirement (NCTR), said that he couldn’t agree more. “As my mother used to say, ‘He who pays the piper, calls the tunes,’” Williams observed.
“I am glad that WNET and PBS have admitted their error,” Williams went on, “and I commend them for their prompt action.” “Furthermore,” he went on, “I hope that as they continue their reporting on the topic of public pensions, they will reach out to organizations such as the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) to ensure that there is balance in their coverage.” He also said that he hoped that “the challenges confronting state and local governments as they work diligently to provide a reasonable, adequate, and affordable retirement for their employees are discussed in the larger context of the retirement crisis confronting the nation as a whole.”
“Finally, I sincerely wish that others who have accepted the Arnold Foundation’s money in connection with public pension issues would consider the dangers that the PBS Ombudsman points out, and decide to avoid the appearance of ethical compromise, as has WNET,” Williams concluded.
- New York Times: “WNET to Return $3.5 Million Grant for Pension Series”
- PBS Ombudsman: “Tensions Over Pensions” (includes WNET/PBS Joint Statement)
Arnold Foundation Funding PBS Series on “Pension Peril”
According to David Sirota, writing in PandoDaily on February 12, 2014, the new two-year television series entitled “The Pension Peril,” which was launched in September of 2013 by WNET, New York’s flagship Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) station, is being directly financed by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
WNET is coordinating “The Pension Peril” series for distribution across the country. According to a December 2013 WNET press release, the series will be a “local and national multiplatform reporting initiative [that] will shine a spotlight on an expected $1 trillion-plus shortfall in funding for public employees’ retirement benefits, and what it means for cities and states, retirees and current workers, and taxpayers.” “The Pension Peril” is intended to “introduce millions of Americans to the tough choices ahead and possible models of reform,” according to the WNET statement. Read more....
Federal E-News Blog
Maintained by NCTR's Director of Federal Relations View blog
NCTR Executive Director Commends Senator Harkin
On behalf of the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR), I want to commend you for your continued focus on the retirement crisis facing our country, and the need for every one of our nation's workers to have access to a retirement plan that provides them with the ability to earn a safe, secure lifetime income benefit. Your ongoing leadership on this vitally important issue is very much needed and appreciated.Read more
Detroit Bankruptcy Facts
As the Court continues to make decisions regarding the City of Detroit's filing for bankruptcy protection, it has become clear that there are a number of misconceptions related to municipal bankruptcy, including how the City came to these circumstances, the funding status of the City's pension plans, and whether Federal intervention is either warranted or appropriate. Read more