This curriculum will help you understand how the retirement system in your state works, the advantages it offers, and the challenges it faces.

After completing it, you’ll see the big picture around your retirement, factors that could threaten it, and possible solutions. We don’t advocate for any single solution or suggest a move away from traditional pension systems.

Use the dropdown menu to view other courses

1. Basics of Retirement

Completion Time:
12 min
Let’s take a look at why it is important to learn about pensions and what it means to be on a path to retirement security.
Progress

2. Basics of Pension Benefits

Completion Time:
15 min
What you need to know about how pension benefits are calculated.
Progress

3. Basics of Pension Funding

Completion Time:
30 min
What you need to know abut how pensions are funded and what different pension terms mean.
Progress

4. Causes of Funding Challenges

Completion Time:
30 min
There is a nearly $700 billion shortfall in teacher pension funds nationally. It is important to understand the causes of this underfunding.
Progress

5. Consequences of Funding Challenges

Completion Time:
25 min
Most pension funds are not in immediate danger of insolvency, but there are consequences from accumulating pension debt in both the short and long term.
Progress

6. Challenges of Pension Designs

Completion Time:
20 min
Pension benefits work well for some teachers, but there are also important risks that every pension plan participant should understand about their benefits.
Progress

7. Basics of Alternative Retirement Plans

Completion Time:
20 min
Retirement benefits should not be one-size-fits-all. There are other retirement plan designs that can also fit teachers’ needs.
Progress

8. Highlighting Solutions

Completion Time:
10 min
Once you understand the nuts and bolts of how pension benefits work as well as the challenges and risks, the solutions start to become really clear.
Progress

9. Conclusion

Completion Time:
3 min
Now, let’s take a look at the benefit designs and current status of the teacher retirement plan in your state.
Progress