All of us need adequate savings to live the kind of life we want to lead when we retiree. That’s why it is so important to understand the structure of your retirement system, whether it is a traditional pension plan or something else. With a large number of pension systems across the country struggling with financial sustainability, understanding the problems that exist and how they can be fixed—and knowing what you can do to help—is a critical component of planning for your retirement.
Many pension systems need stronger commitments from policymakers that respect you as a professional who deserves a secure retirement. Policymaker commitments should properly pay up front for the retirement benefits you earn every day—and that they promised when you became a teacher. They should improve the risk management of your pension system in coordination with the pension board governing your plan. And every state should be regularly reviewing whether the retirement benefits they offer are providing a path to retirement security for every teacher and educator, rather than working toward some other purpose.