Blog: Pensions and Human Capital

Shirley Ben-Ami was a teacher for nearly 35 years. She taught fourteen and half years in the New York City Public Schools and spent the last 20 years in Montgomery County, Maryland. In the following interview Ms. Ben-Ami talks about her experiences in the classroom and when it was time for her to retire.
A former teacher, Kevin L. Matthews II is a licensed financial advisor, author, and speaker. We reached out to Kevin to hear more about his decision to leave the classroom, and how teachers can best prepare for retirement.
Rising costs and arbitrary incentives are harming Nevada's ability to attract and retain a high-quality teacher workforce.
How do we get more STEM teachers? One idea is to convince folks leaving a STEM job to start a second career in the classroom. But, career-changers, particularly in STEM fields, would most likely have to accept both a significant pay cut and lower retirement benefits. This happens because these individuals will have two separate retirement saving plans. And, unfortunately, they will be unlikely to realize the full benefits of either.
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.
The shift from a veteran-dominated teaching workforce to one more heavily tilted toward newcomers has implications for how we calculate average teacher salaries and the policies needed to boost teacher compensation.
Oregon offered its teachers one of the most generous pension plans ever devised, and it still wasn't able to boost teacher retention.
Charter schools should think about how to provide retirement benefits that more closely match their workforce.
Watch how Illinois' educator workforce has evolved over time, and how its Baby Boomers slowly age out of the workforce.
An LA Times story spurs questions around benefit accessibility, cost, and responsibility.