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Public Pension Plan Reform: The Legal Framework

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  • Amy B. Monahan

    () (University of Minnesota Law School)

Abstract

There is significant interest in reforming retirement plans for public school employees, particularly in light of current market conditions. This article presents an overview of the various types of state regulation of public pension plans that affect possibilities for reform. Nearly all of the various approaches to public pension plan protection taken by the states have significant flaws. These flaws include a lack of clarity regarding what plan changes the relevant legal standard will allow, combined with either too much or too little protection for plan participants. This article argues that states would be well served to adopt a contractual approach to public pension benefits but to limit that contractual protection to accrued benefits. This approach is clear, protects legitimate participant interests, and preserves an employer's ability to respond to changing economic conditions. © 2010 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • Amy B. Monahan, 2010. "Public Pension Plan Reform: The Legal Framework," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 617-646, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:5:y:2010:i:4:p:617-646
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2012. "Linking Benefits to Investment Performance in US Public Pension Systems," NBER Working Papers 18491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Burson, Jean & Carlson, John & Ergungor, O. Emre & Waiwood, Patricia, 2013. "Do public pension obligations affect state funding costs?," Working Paper 1301, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 01 Jul 2014.
    3. Dongwoo Kim & Cory Koedel & Shawn Ni & Michael Podgursky & Weiwei Wu, 2016. "Pensions and Late-Career Teacher Retention," Working Papers 2016-08, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised Jul 2017.
    4. Novy-Marx, Robert & Rauh, Joshua D., 2014. "Linking benefits to investment performance in US public pension systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 47-61.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    pension plan reform; public school employees; public pension plans;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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