Blog: State Pension Plans

Teacher pension funds are complicated and can be difficult to understand. In fact, Arizona's teacher pension plan is particularly complicated. This post explains how the system works and explains how it affects teachers' retirement.
To what extent do different rates of educational attainment among men and women contribute to the gender-based salary gap? Based on our analysis, the higher rate of educational attainment for women is insufficient to overcome other barriers to higher salaries.
One of the most common teacher salary questions is whether or not teachers get paid over the summer months. So, do they? It depends. Teacher payroll schedules vary district-to-district: some allow workers to spread their 10-month salary over 12 months, while others don’t give any paycheck during the summer months, requiring teachers to budget, or in some cases, get a second job.
Teacher pensions are complicated. Here is how teacher pensions are calculated.
While traditional, back-loaded pension plans fall short of providing adequate retirement benefits to all members, there are better options. And, contrary to a public debate that often pits pensions against 401ks, there are other alternatives that would better balance the needs of employers and employees.
A new study provides evidence that teachers are not particularly sensitive to changes in retirement benefits. If anything, updating teachers’ retirement options could even free up resources to raise base salaries, which may ultimately affect the teacher workforce more than retirement benefits ever can.
Teacher pensions are more complicated than they appear, and that has implications for teachers.
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.
Teacher pay and benefits have made headlines over the past few weeks, with walkouts and strikes by teachers in Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Indeed, with so much unfolding so quickly, it can be hard to keep up.
Kentucky's move to a cash balance plan will be good for the state, and for future Kentucky teachers.