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ERIC Number: ED535996
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Redefining Teacher Pensions: Strategically Defined Benefits for New Teachers and Fiscal Sustainability for All
Miller, Raegen T.
Center for American Progress
This paper offers three constructive recommendations that apply specifically to public school teachers, the largest group of state and local government employees, and one of special importance to the long-term economic competitiveness of the country. The recommendations embrace and protect existing defined-benefit pension plans, which are under withering attack across the country, because such plans play a role in ensuring that teachers have a secure, adequate post-retirement income at the least cost to employers. Two of these recommendations safeguard the financial condition of existing defined-benefit plans. The third recommendation is motivated by concerns about the effectiveness of the teaching workforce and equity in the distribution of teaching talent. Redefining pension benefits for new teachers using a cash-balance approach serves the practical needs of existing defined-benefit pension plans. This idea also matches the mobile and varied career aspirations of prospective teachers. And most importantly, it loosens the grip that the traditional salary schedule has on teacher compensation in the broadest sense. Breaking compensation free of this grip is a necessary though not completely sufficient condition for building the teacher workforce needed to ensure U.S. economic competitiveness and equal opportunity for all children. Taking this first step by redefining teacher pensions would go a long way toward bolstering the quality of the teacher workforce and improving equity in the distribution of teaching talent. (Contains 2 figures and 81 endnotes.)
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Joyce Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress