This report finds that public pensions play an outsized role in the retirement security of every major demographic group in California, with the strongest impact on women and people of color. It is also a powerful tool for reducing wealth inequality. As private pension coverage declines, public pensions remain a critical bulwark of middle-class retirement security alongside Social Security, particularly for marginalized communities who have been historically shut out of other wealth-building opportunities.
Research & Publications
A new report by the UC Berkeley Labor Center finds that defined benefit pensions—especially public pensions—are critical to providing adequate retirement income for California seniors, especially for women, Black, and Latino retirees, and those without a four-year college degree.
This study analyzes the impact of defined benefit pensions, especially public pensions, on retirement income security and wealth distribution by race, gender, and educational attainment in the U.S. It serves as a companion report to Closing the Gap fact sheets, which are designed to inform the public about the social equity impact of pensions in each state and the District of Columbia.
This brief analyzes the impact of public sector employment and defined-benefit pensions on race and gender equity in retirement income security in Marin County and California. Public pensions play an outsized role in the retirement security of every racial group, particularly in Black and Latino communities, and pension income provides a critical buffer against economic hardship in old age for all groups, especially women, Black and Latino Californians, and seniors without college degrees.
A new research brief, “How public pensions support race and gender equity,” finds that public pensions play an outsized role in the retirement security of every racial group– particularly in Black and Latino communities–in Marin County and the rest of the state.
September 13, 2023
Public Pensions Support Race, Class, and Gender Equity in California
September 13, 2023
Closing the Gap: The Role of Public Pensions in Reducing Retirement Inequality
August 29, 2023
Barbienomics: from panacea to real world poverty
March 12, 2023
Editorial: It’s important to see Marin public pensions through equity lens
Public defined benefit pension plans can play a critical role in delivering adequate retirement income for U.S. retirees, while providing a key buffer against economic hardship for women, the Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities and workers without a college degree.
U.S. public pension plans play a significant role in leveling overall retirement wealth and overall family wealth by race and gender, a new report from the National Institute of Retirement Security said.
Black and Latino workers, who are often in jobs that are lower wage, on a part-time basis, or with higher job turnover rates, have often been left out of the retirement system. For retirement programs like CalSavers to all work, Rhee says employer participation is key.
The Berkeley study makes it clear: Public pensions are part of the solution for the equity problem in Marin.