Pensions Under Pressure: Charter Innovation in Teacher Retirement Benefits

lead image

Declining asset prices during the financial crisis forced many state teacher pension plans to acknowledge that they may have substantially overestimated their long-term rates of return. Many states have begun to enact reforms, however, the long-term financial viability of state pension plans looks bleak without more significant structural reforms and there is little room for school districts to experiment in this area because they are required by law to participate in their state's plan. However, in some states, charter schools are an important exception. Nineteen states currently provide charter schools with at least some mechanism to opt out of the state pension plan and develop their own alternative retirement plan. This report looks at how charter schools are finding innovative solutions that could be applied to the broader teacher labor market.

Publication Date
Publication Type