Illinois experienced increased teacher retention over the past decade. Rising retention rates however translated to increasing costs, and in 2011, Illinois responded by making it more difficult for a teacher to receive a pension.
We searched public pension plan documents to find what happens when teachers leave a pension plan. Although this this information is limited, some teachers prefer to cash out and take a lump-sum payment rather than waiting to draw a pension in retirement.
Few states have adopted pure defined contribution plans, but there has been a recent increase in the number of non-traditional retirement plans, including hybrid plans that give employees more flexibility while reducing state financial burdens.
In New York, teachers were subject to mandatory retirement laws that capped the age a teacher could work. Mandatory retirement laws do not exist anymore, but current pension systems do subtly encourage older teachers to retire.