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1 Teacher Pensions and Labor Market Behavior: A Descriptive Analysis Michael Podgursky, University of Missouri - Columbia Mark Ehlert, University of Missouri-

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Presentation on theme: "1 Teacher Pensions and Labor Market Behavior: A Descriptive Analysis Michael Podgursky, University of Missouri - Columbia Mark Ehlert, University of Missouri-"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Teacher Pensions and Labor Market Behavior: A Descriptive Analysis Michael Podgursky, University of Missouri - Columbia Mark Ehlert, University of Missouri- Columbia IES Research Conference Washington, DC June 8, 2007.

2 2 Why study teacher retirements? Teacher retirements generate vacancies Teacher retirements generate costs –Teacher pensions –Retiree health insurance Incentives in retirement systems have strong effects on labor supply and mobility –Pension system incentives are potent Retirement systems can affect the quantity and quality of the teaching workforce

3 3 Schools face 'death spiral' Editorial/Opinion 2/14/2006 Until last week, Los Angeles school officials had thought their unfunded health care obligation for retirees was $5 billion. Then they scrubbed the numbers. The new estimate: $10 billion. That's bad news for taxpayers who will foot the bill and for children whose education will be limited by the cost. …

4 4

5 5 Research literature Large labor economics literature on pensions and retirements Very small literature on teachers –Furgeson, Strauss, Vogt (2006), PA teachers –Brown (2006), CA teachers Absence of basic data –Payroll costs (esp. retiree HI) –Parameters of systems (NEA and NASRA incomplete) –Incentive structure of teacher pensions –Teacher labor market data SASS TFS State studies (SEA records linked to pension data)

6 6 Incentives in Pension Systems In public sector DB pension systems accrual of pension wealth is highly non- linear and back-loaded State systems generally have sharp “spikes” in accrual rates –Pull teachers to spike –Push out after Not inherent in DB pension systems. – “cash balance” (IBM and other firms)

7 7 Increment to PV of Pension Wealth from Working an Additional Year Source: Costrell and Podgursky (2007) “Spikes” are common Loss of Pension Wealth

8 8 Source: Costrell and Podgursky (2007)

9 9

10 10 Source: Costrell and Podgursky (2007)

11 11 Ohio

12 A + E ≥ 45 Full-Time Teachers N= 31, ,240 Retirements Missouri Longitudinal Teacher Data File

13 13 80 Distribution of Age + Experience

14 14 Distribution of Age

15 15 29 Distribution of Experience

16 16 Cumulative Distribution of Age: Male vs Female

17 17 Cumulative Distribution of Age: Rural vs Urban

18 18 Cumulative Distribution of Age: White vs Black

19 19 Cumulative Distribution of Age: Elementary vs Secondary

20 20 Structure of SASS Teacher Follow Up Survey SASS Teacher Follow-Up Survey Current Teacher Survey Former Teacher Survey Retired? Collecting Teacher Retirement Pension

21 21 Age at Retirement: SASS Teacher Follow Up Survey, 2001 and 2005 Median = 58

22 22 Teaching Experience at Retirement: SASS Teacher Follow Up Survey, 2001 and 2005

23 23 Cumulative Distribution of Teacher Retirement Ages: Teacher Follow Up Surveys, Schools and Staffing Surveys, 2001 and

24 24 Retirement Age in Missouri and the US: Missouri and SASS Teacher Follow Up Survey 2001.

25 25 Labor Market Experience of Teachers Who Retired in 2000: Percent of Teachers Working Full and Part-Time in Missouri Public Schools in Subsequent Years

26 26 Retirement Age in Missouri and the US: Missouri and SASS Teacher Follow Up Survey 2001.

27 27 Structure of SASS Teacher Follow Up Survey SASS Teacher Follow-Up Survey Current Teacher Survey Former Teacher Survey Collecting Teacher Pension? 5.3% (4.9% of total pop.) 91.6% 8.4%

28 28 Full paper at


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