Equable Institute on June 24 launched the first edition of the Retirement Security Report, an interactive digital report that evaluates the quality of retirement benefits offered to public workers nationwide using customizable score cards for all 335 statewide retirement plans currently open to new hires. While most analyses of public retirement plans focus on the sustainability of public retirement systems and their costs, the Retirement Security Report is focused on the value of benefits being offered to public sector workers to determine if individual plans are providing a path to retirement income security for municipal employees, public safety officers, state workers, and teachers based on career tenure and age.
The Retirement Security Report uses a 70% income replacement rate as the threshold for adequate retirement income, along with 11 other metrics to evaluate how well workers are being served by their retirement plans. Because the needs of all workers are not the same, each retirement plan included in the report has unique retirement benefits scores for Short-Term Workers, Medium-Term Workers and Full Career Workers based on entry into their plans at the age of 25 and 40.
Along with the interactive plan scorecards, Equable Institute has released a topline analysis of the underlying data set, called “The National Landscape of State Retirement Benefits,” that offers a macro view of the state of public retirement benefits along with plan rankings.
We hope the analysis will be used to help public workers and state legislatures make better informed choices when it comes to retirement benefits and funding in the face of a rapidly changing workforce.
This project is intended to be a living and ever-expanding resource. The underlying scoring system will be used to evaluate select proposed public retirement system legislation in the coming months. We will also periodically release further analyses of the underlying data and will be adding municipal and legacy plans to the interactive scorecard database in coming months.
All of the data included in the report, along with the scoring script is open-source and can be accessed here.