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What can you tell me about the effect of teacher pensions on teacher exits from the workforce? By the way, should I be worried about under funding?

What can you tell me about the effect of teacher pensions on teacher exits from the workforce? By the way, should I be worried about under funding?

Here are a couple of good papers to look at:

There is evidence on both early and late-career retention of teachers. For example, Goldhaber, Grout, and Holden, 2016 (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0019793916678424) look at whether different types of pensions (DB or hybrid) affect the level of employee turnover and find these differences in pension structure is not associated with differences in early-career retention.

Costrell and Podgursky, 2010 (https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/EDFP_a_00015?journalCode=edfp)  consider whether retirement-timing decisions are influenced by pension systems and find that Arkansas teachers tend to retire as soon as they meet retirement eligibility cutoffs.

Yes, we think under funding is a concern. By some estimates, these unfunded liabilities are greater than $1 trillion across state pension systems. One paper by Backes et al. 2016 (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0013189X16666812), consider implications of these liabilities as new cohorts of teachers are covering part of the cost of previous cohorts.

If you really want to go deeper you might want to talk to Cory Koedel (koedelc@missouri.edu).