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Peaks, Cliffs, and Valleys: The Peculiar Incentives in Teacher Retirement Systems and Their Consequences for School Staffing

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Author Info

  • Robert M. Costrell

    ()
    (Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas)

  • Michael Podgursky

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Missouri, Columbia)

Abstract

This article examines the pattern of incentives for work versus retirement in six state teacher pension systems. We do this by examining the annual accrual of pension wealth from an additional year of work over a teacher's career. Accrual of wealth is highly nonlinear and heavily loaded at arbitrary years that would normally be considered mid-career. One typical pattern exhibits low accrual in early years, accelerating in the mid- to late fifties, followed by dramatic decline or even negative returns in years that are relatively young for retirement. Key factors in the defined benefit formulas that drive such patterns are identified along with likely consequences for employee behavior. The authors examine efficiency and equity consequences of these systems as well as options for reform. © 2009 American Education Finance Association

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/edfp.2009.4.2.175
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Education Finance and Policy.

Volume (Year): 4 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 175-211

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:4:y:2009:i:2:p:175-211

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Related research

Keywords: teacher retirement; teacher pension systems; school staffing;

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Cited by:
  1. Hendricks, Matthew D., 2014. "Does it pay to pay teachers more? Evidence from Texas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 50-63.

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