How pensions contribute to the premium paid to experienced public school teachers
McGee, Joshua B.
Winters, Marcus A.
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CitationJoshua B McGee, Marcus A Winters. 2017. "How Pensions Contribute to the Premium Paid to Experienced Public School Teachers." EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp. 250 - 258 (9).
Many argue that public school systems should stop linking teachers’ salaries so closely to their years of experience. However, the effect of deferred retirement compensation on the premium paid to experienced teachers has, to date, been underappreciated. To shed more light on this issue, we calculate the total compensation earned by teachers in New York City and Philadelphia from both salary and deferred retirement compensation under each system’s currently operating defined-benefit plan. Retirement compensation in both cities is back-loaded, which substantially increases the premium paid to highly experienced teachers. In late-career years, teachers often earn a larger compensation premium from the accrual of pension benefits than from salary. We show that cash-balance retirement plans, which are less back-loaded, would substantially reduce experience premiums without reducing the total compensation for the average entering teacher.