Teacher pension funds across the country are in trouble. They are hundreds of billions of dollars in debt. To make ends meet, many states have raised the vesting period and increased how much teachers have to contribute to their retirement. Despite these changes, state pension funds fail to provide all new teachers with sufficient retirement benefits.
New Jersey’s pension systems are some of the worst-funded in the United States. The Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York classifies a government pension system that is below 40 percent funded as in "crisis.” New Jersey’s system is well below that mark. A combination of elected officials granting retirement benefits to workers without having the means for them and public-employee groups negotiating increased benefits when there was no funding source led to this situation.
Louisiana’s teacher pension system is one of the worst retirement systems in the country. It's bad for teachers and bad for school district budgets. But there are solutions within Louisiana that would improve the financial stability of the system and offer all teachers a path to a secure retirement.