Designing an optimized retirement plan for today’s state and local government employees

In Politics by Michael Rae

Executive Summary

With most private firms shifting workers to 401(k)-style defined contribution (DC) retirement plans since the 1980s, the state and local government market is effectively the last bastion of traditional defined benefit (DB) pension plans. However, even among governments, the ubiquity of traditional pension plans has been slipping. And much of the movement away from traditional DB plan designs has been caused by accumulated unfunded liabilities that are fiscally burdening both the pension plan and jurisdictions’ budgets.

Public pension reform has been seen as a binary choice: the traditional DB or a 401(k)-style DC plan, with the latter option frequently