Pensions for State and Local Government Workers Not Covered by Social Security: Do Benefits Meet Federal Standards?

Social Security Bulletin. 80(3): 1-29, 2020

29 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2020

See all articles by Laura Quinby

Laura Quinby

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Jean-Pierre Aubry

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Alicia H. Munnell

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Date Written: August 12, 2020

Abstract

Federal law allows certain state and local governments to exclude employees from Social Security coverage if the employees are provided with a sufficiently generous pension. Approximately 6.5 million such workers were not covered by Social Security in 2018. Retirement systems for non-covered workers have become less generous in recent years, and a few plans could exhaust their trust funds within the next decade, putting beneficiaries at risk. This article examines data from a variety of sources to assess whether state and local governments currently satisfy the federal standards for retirement plan sufficiency and whether the standards ensure benefits equivalent to those from Social Security.

Keywords: Social Security, Public Pensions, Benefit Generosity, Retirement

JEL Classification: H55, H7

Suggested Citation

Quinby, Laura and Aubry, Jean-Pierre and Munnell, Alicia, Pensions for State and Local Government Workers Not Covered by Social Security: Do Benefits Meet Federal Standards? (August 12, 2020). Social Security Bulletin. 80(3): 1-29, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3677146

Laura Quinby (Contact Author)

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02467
United States

Jean-Pierre Aubry

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Fulton Hall 550
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Alicia Munnell

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Fulton Hall 550
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
617-552-1762 (Phone)

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