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

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
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/mwe1-n717

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Fuchsman, Dillon, Josh B. McGee, and Gema Zamarro. (). Teachers’ Knowledge about and Preparedness for Retirement: Results from a Nationally Representative Teacher Survey. (EdWorkingPaper: 21-489). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/mwe1-n717

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