Blog: Mobility and Portability

The current Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ATRS) plan is not providing most of its members with adequate retirement benefits. Alternative models already in place within the state would do a better job of accomplishing that goal.
This post digs into worker retention data from Arkansas and notes that there are reasons to doubt how much pension plans affect worker retention rates.
Data from state pension plans confirm that teacher salary growth rates have been declining in recent years.
Rather that fighting to preserve an expensive, unfair status quo, teachers should demand retirement plans worth fighting for.
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we think one of the ways states could thank teachers would be to make sure they all have secure, portable, sustainable retirement benefits. Unfortunately, too many teachers do not. To help illustrate why that’s not happening, consider six ways states make it harder for teachers to qualify for secure retirement benefits, as told through the lens of some of the most memorable, fictional teachers and educators.
Given the benefits to both the employee and the employer, states should expand existing portable retirement options offered to other state employees to teachers as well.
Teachers, no matter how new, shouldn’t need a side hustle to make ends meet. But, conservatively (and without including summer work), 16 percent do. One solution? Pension reform. Right now, states pay, on average, $6,800 per teacher toward pension debt. These payments aren’t going to future benefits, but instead to pay down existing debts.
Should we care about individual workers’ lived experiences in a given profession, or should we take a snapshot of the current workforce as representative of all those who experience it?
Not-so-breaking news: A pension advocacy group thinks pensions are the best retirement option for all workers.
Pension reform would likely benefit South Carolina's teachers and students.