July 2010 —  The Journal of Pension Benefits has published a NIRS analysis of why defined benefit pensions have proven to be a durable feature of compensation for state and local governments.

As we look across the nation, we see governments making a number of changes to their retirement plans—increasing contributions, adjusting retirement ages, and modifying benefit design. However, governments’ commitment to defined benefit pensions has generally not wavered. That has been a surprise to some who have called for the public sector to follow the path of the private sector, away from DB pensions and toward greater reliance on defined contribution plans.

But the resilience of DB pensions in the public sector is less surprising to those who understand that these plans are ideally suited to serve the interests of all of the key stakeholders involved—taxpayers, employees, and public employers. Here are three reasons why DBs have proven to be such a durable feature of the compensation landscape in state and local government.

Download the full article in PDF here.

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