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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Most teachers get bad deal on pensions

Pensions are a bad deal for most teachers, conclude Bellwether’s Chad Aldeman and Kelly Robson in an Education Next article. While some teachers do well, most get nothing at all.

In the median state, only a minority of teachers vest in their pension plan, they write. In 49 states, a majority of teachers will receive future pension payments worth less than their retirement contributions.

Pension plans have unintended and undesirable effects on teacher retention, the authors find.

While “pension eligibility does not encourage early- or mid-career teachers to stay in the profession, eligibility rules “tend to push veteran teachers to retire”and “can encourage ineffective teachers to stay long enough to collect their maximum pension benefit.”

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