In a Forbes column, NIRS Executive Director Dan Doonan writes that demonstrated way to keep teachers over their careers is to offer them a defined benefit (DB) pension.

While there is a high degree of churn in the early years, as new teachers decide whether education is the right career for them, once teachers stay more than five years they are likely to stay for a career, and the incentives built into pensions promote that retention.

Alaska’s two statewide public pension plans have been closed for almost 17 years. Since that time, all newly-hired public employees, including teachers, have participated in a defined contribution (DC) plan. Alaska has experienced greater challenges in retaining public employees during this period. In fact, the Alaska Department of Public Safety has testified that the inability to offer a DB pension is also a hindrance to recruiting new state troopers.

Read the full column here.