Blog: Mobility and Portability

While nearly all of us could benefit from a brush-up on retirement saving practices, teacher-specific advice is hard to come by. To better understand how best to tackle the unique challenges educators face, I connected with NerdWallet's Arielle O'Shea.
Saving for retirement is hard enough, but states are forcing teachers into complex decisions about how much their pension might be worth in the future. Data from Illinois suggests many teachers are struggling with those decisions.
As state and local policymakers seek to expand pre-k opportunities and improve support for early childhood teachers, they must also ensure educators are given a viable path to save for retirement.
By comparing groups of workers as they hit the same career milestones, we can get a more accurate portrait of how worker mobility has changed over time.
Teaching is a difficult profession, and not everyone can do it well, or wants to do it for an entire lifetime. But everyone deserves a secure retirement, and the state shouldn't put teachers at risk anymore.
The majority of teacher pension plans actually incentivize employees to exit at a predetermined age, quietly penalizing those who continue to work. This deters experienced educators from continuing in the classroom, and recent data suggests it may have negative effects on students, too.
As a part of her Initiative on Technology & Innovation, Clinton proposes that the government ensure that employee benefits are “flexible, portable, and comprehensive.” She argues that strong benefits that workers can take with them whenever they move and that can be customized to meet their specific needs are essential to a 21st century workforce. Clinton's proposals would go a long way to ensure teacher pensions provide educators with better benefits.
Oregon offered its teachers one of the most generous pension plans ever devised, and it still wasn't able to boost teacher retention.
Traditional pension benefits aren’t portable. When a teacher moves to a new state, her previous service years don’t automatically rollover for free. Instead, she starts back at zero.
There’s very little evidence that current education policies are driving teacher turnover rates. The rise in teacher turnover rates in the 1990s and 2000s can be traced to changing demographics of the teacher workforce.