Teachers’ Knowledge and Preparedness for Retirement: Results from a Nationally Representative Teacher Survey

52 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2022 Last revised: 11 May 2022

See all articles by Dillon Fuchsman

Dillon Fuchsman

Saint Louis University - Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research

Josh B. McGee

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform; Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Date Written: November 1, 2021

Abstract

Adequately saving for retirement requires both planning and knowledge about available retirement savings options. Teachers participate in a complex set of different plan designs and benefit tiers, and many do not participate in Social Security. While teachers represent a large part of the public workforce, relatively little is known regarding their knowledge about and preparation for retirement. We administered a survey to a nationally representative sample of teachers through RAND’s American Teacher Panel and asked teachers about their retirement planning and their employer-sponsored retirement plans. We find that while most teachers are taking steps to prepare for retirement, many teachers lack the basic retirement knowledge necessary to plan effectively. Teachers struggled to identify their plan type, how much they are contributing to their plans, retirement eligibility ages, and who contributes to Social Security. These results suggest that teacher retirement reform may not be disruptive for teachers and that better, simpler, and clearer information about teacher retirement plans would be beneficial.

Keywords: teacher pensions, retirement knowledge, retirement planning

JEL Classification: I20, J33

Suggested Citation

Fuchsman, Dillon and McGee, Josh and Zamarro, Gema, Teachers’ Knowledge and Preparedness for Retirement: Results from a Nationally Representative Teacher Survey (November 1, 2021). Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research Working Paper No. 21-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4011391 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4011391

Dillon Fuchsman (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research ( email )

3700 West Pine Mall Blvd. Fusz Hall, 358
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States

Josh McGee

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

Graduate Education Building
Room 324
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/gema_zamarro/

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