• Do teacher pension plans provide their members an "adequate" retirement benefit? This paper finds that the typical teacher pension plan leaves 80 percent of new, young teachers with inadequate benefits. In contrast, cost-neutral alternative plan designs could do a better job of providing all teachers with adequate retirement savings.
  • From Fiscal Year 2016 to FY 17, the aggregate funding ratio of large state and local public pension plans dipped to 71.9 percent.
  • In our new report, “Benefits Take Larger Bite out of District K-12 Budgets,” we analyzed U.S. Department of Education district finance data from 2005 to 2014. In particular, we looked at overall elementary and secondary education spending and instructional spending, as well as the corresponding benefit spending. The results are alarming. Districts spending on benefits is growing at a much faster rate than their overall education spending. As a result, fewer dollars are making it into the classroom.
  • Statewide defined benefit pension plans, which today serve 90 percent of public school teachers, were originally justified on the grounds that pension plans were ideally suited to the needs of long-term female employees. They had all-or-nothing provisions such that a 19-year veteran got nothing, but a 20-year veteran earned a comfortable, although certainly not lucrative, retirement. Over time, teacher pension plans have improved somewhat, but they are still heavily tilted toward long-term employees.

  • Gender- and race-based differences in salaries among educators in Illinois translate to significant disparities in estimated retirement wealth.