Blog: Mobility and Portability

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.
Charter schools should think about how to provide retirement benefits that more closely match their workforce.
It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to prioritize one year of teaching over another. But that's exactly what teacher pensions do.
The majority of California's teachers would be better off in a cash balance plan than the state’s current pension plan.
President Obama struck at the heart of retirement issues in his final State of the Union address: workers need portable benefits.