Doing the Math on Teacher Pensions


Reposted from the National Council on Teacher Quality:

In Doing the Math on Teacher Pensions: How to Protect Teachers and Taxpayers, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) challenges the claims of pension boards and other groups about the cost-effectiveness, fairness and flexibility of the traditional defined benefit pension plans still in place in 38 states. The report includes a report card on each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia with a detailed analysis of state teacher pension policies.

Do the math on teacher pensions and it just doesn’t add up. In 2014 teacher pension systems had a total of a half trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities — a debt load that climbed more than $100 billion in just the last two years. Across the states, an average of 70 cents of every dollar contributed to state teacher pension systems goes toward paying off the ever-increasing pension debt, not to future teacher benefits. Yet despite the overwhelming evidence that current pension policies cannot be sustained and don’t meet the needs of the 21st century teacher workforce, state lawmakers, regulators and pension boards continue to deny or ignore the crisis.

Since 2008, the NCTQ has tracked the health of teacher pension systems in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The state-by-state report cards included in this report present comprehensive state data on pension funding and pension system rules.

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