Public Pensions

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Nari Rhee

Is it time to retire traditional teacher pension plans?

As teachers across the country mobilize for education funding and fair pay, pensions are high on their list of priorities. What they know from experience, and research confirms, is that pensions are a win-win for teachers and schools, delivering superior retirement security and retaining teachers for decades. Conversely, abandoning pensions in favor of 401(k) or cash balance plans would come at great cost to teacher livelihoods and erode education quality.

UC Berkeley Labor Center

RELEASE: Traditional pensions provide greater benefit than 401(k)s for U.S. teachers

A new study from University of California, Berkeley and the National Institute on Retirement Security shows that for the vast majority of teachers, existing pension benefits provides a higher, more secure retirement income compared to a cost-equivalent 401(k)­-style plan. What’s more, pensions keep teachers in classrooms.

Nari Rhee

Potential Impact of Governor Brown’s Pension Reform Plan on Low Wage Workers

Lower wage workers could be significantly disadvantaged if the Governor’s proposals for a hybrid pension and increased retirement age for new hires is applied without regard for wage level or occupational characteristics–through a severely downgraded pension benefit that fails to provide meaningful retirement security and a longer working career/shorter period of retirement compared to higher paid workers.