Paying for a leave makes a difference. If you're like many teachers, paying for a $10,000 leave could increase your pension by about $1,900 each year. Most of our retired members collect a pension for around 30 years. Paying for that leave today could mean you'll get as much as $57,000 more throughout your retirement.
Let's face it, the closer you get to your 85 factor, the more appealing retirement will likely be. Working an extra year to make up for your leave may be the last thing you want to do by then. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Consider paying for your entire leave to maintain your retirement goal.
Paying for your leave will increase your service credit. The more service credit you have, the bigger your pension.
You can pay for a leave up to five years from when your leave ended, but no later than the month before your pension starts. If retirement is around the corner for you, it's a good idea to begin paying early to avoid delays in processing your pension application.
Your pension is about as close to a guaranteed investment as you can get. When you retire, your monthly payments will be determined by a formula, not the ups and downs of the market.