• 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.

  • 1.2 million teachers lack the portable, progressive safety net the rest of us take for granted.
  • 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.
  • Teacher pension spending in Illinois is yet another way that less money is spent on low-income students and students of color. Also, the fact that there is a state pension fund and a Chicago pension funding complicates the problem and cause inequities to increase even more than might have been expected.
  • After we created a rubric to grade state teacher retirement plans, we found a mostly depressing picture: States have set up expensive, debt-ridden systems where most teachers fail to qualify for decent retirement benefits.