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ERIC Number: ED512291
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Better Benefits: Reforming Teacher Pensions for a Changing Work Force. Education Sector Reports
Aldeman, Chad; Rotherham, Andrew J.
Education Sector
Policymakers are beginning to take note of the fiscal problems in teacher retirement systems. States have recently taken action by raising retirement ages, lowering benefit payments, and reducing cost-of-living adjustments. These are small steps toward shoring up the system to help ensure that it remains sustainable in the future. But the problems with teacher pensions are not just financial. And they do not just affect individual teachers and retirees. The way these plans are structured can negatively influence the teaching work force as a whole. At a time when improving the quality of classroom instruction is a national priority, key structural elements in teacher retirement plans impair the ability of schools to recruit, hire, retain, and compensate high-quality teachers and principals. There is no easy way out of today's pension problems. All the options to fix the problems are substantially challenging, politically difficult, or both. Yet each year of inaction is a year the problem gets worse. This paper offers guideposts for policymakers as they work to modernize today's pension systems. These guideposts are: (1) Acknowledge that there is a problem; (2) Craft policy solutions with an eye toward public finance realities and education's human capital problem; (3) Think about the profession differently; (4) Hold harmless the benefits of current retirees and the benefits accrued to date of current teachers; (5) Seek changes that would make laws concerning pension system modifications more feasible; (6) Pursue political reforms; and (7) Increase transparency and analytic ability. Per Person State Pension Plan Liabilities is appended. (Contains 8 figures, 2 tables and 37 notes.)
Education Sector. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 850, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-552-2840; Fax: 202-775-5877; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Joyce Foundation
Authoring Institution: Education Sector
Identifiers - Location: Missouri; Pennsylvania