Public Sector Retirement Systems

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Many state and local retirement plans are on an unsustainable course, having failed to set aside enough money to fund the promises they have made.  To inform state policymaking, Pew provides  research on the fiscal challenges state and cities face as a result of their pension and retiree health promises. With the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the project also offers technical assistance to states and municipalities as they undertake pension and retiree health care reforms to ensure their public sector retirement systems are affordable and sustainable, provide a secure retirement for workers, and preserve governments' ability to recruit and retain a talented public-sector workforce.

Our Work

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  • Hybrid Public Pension Plans

    The challenges of managing growing public pension costs while recruiting and retaining a strong workforce haveprompted policymakers across the country to take a closer look at the way they deliver retirement benefits toemployees. Ten states have adopted hybrid pension plans that combine smaller, defined benefit pensions withdefined contribution plans. Read More

  • Recruiting and Retaining Public Sector Workers

    This research is intended to help inform thinking by policymakers about recruitment and retention as they address the dilemma of ensuring that pension systems are sustainable while helping workers to achieve a secure retirement. Read More

  • Preparing for Retirement

    For the past several years, policymakers across the country have been taking a close look at state and local retirement systems. Since 2009, 48 states have enacted retirement plan changes, with some states enacting multiple reforms,1 in an effort to make pension plans more fiscally sustainable. Read More

Media Contact

Ken Willis

Officer, Communications

202-540-6933