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ERIC Number: ED498804
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 50
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
Golden Peaks and Perilous Cliffs: Rethinking Ohio's Teacher Pension System
Costrell, Robert M.; Podgursky, Michael
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
In response to a journalist inquiry regarding research on funding of Ohio's teacher retirement system and its effect on school district finances, this analysis by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute points to serious questions and profound concerns about the health of Ohio's teacher pension system, and that similar time bombs may be ticking in other states, although there is no unanimity among economists and actuaries as to the scale of the problem in different states, nor is there significant consensus on possible solutions. One consensus item that does emerge is that Ohio, along with many other states, would benefit from an extensive review of its state teacher retirement system, a review that would help inform legislators, policymakers, teachers, and other stakeholders about: (1) Workings of Ohio's teacher pension system, and the nature and scale of its challenges; (2) Implications of those challenges for teachers (present and future), school districts, taxpayers, and the state; and (3) How the Buckeye State's teacher retirement system and its funding affected school-district finances. This report presents the findings of the review conducted by the authors. Findings conclude that the Ohio system is: (1) Obsolete and in need of overhaul; (2) Too pricey to sustain in its current manifestation; (3) Out of step with the state's current teacher needs, labor markets and career patterns; and (4) Unlikely to self-correct. The purpose of the report is to sound an alarm for need to redesign the system rather than to undertake the redesign process, and to trigger what the authors designate an overdue discussion about the state's teacher retirement system, its challenges, and ways it can be improved for the benefit of current members, future teachers and state taxpayers. The document includes four appendixes: (1) History of Ohio's Pension Formula Since 1965; (2) A Comparison of Ohio's Pension System with Other States; (3) Pension Accrual Patterns for Entry at Ages 22, 25 and 30; and (4) Money-Purchase Component of Ohio's Defined-Benefit Plan. A foreword by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Terry Ryan is also included. (Contains 32 endnotes, 18 figures, and 2 tables.) [This report was produced by the the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.]
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation & Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Ohio