The National Landscape of State Retirement Benefits,” a recent report published by Equable Institute, recently found that a majority of public workers are not on a path toward adequate retirement income, and only 11 of the 335 public retirement systems currently open to new hires are serving Short-Term Workers (those who will leave before 10 years of service) well.

For those who don’t have time to read the full report, here are some other key findings and insights:

  • Full Career Workers are served well by all plan types, including pension, defined contribution, guaranteed return, and hybrid plans. Individuals are very likely to accumulate adequate retirement income provided they spend their entire career covered by the same retirement plan.
  • Pension plans generally work well for Short-Term Workers if there is a high member contribution rate.
  • Retirement plans that combine elements of guarantees and individual accounts, such as “guaranteed return” and “hybrid” plans, generally perform worse on average than straightforward pensions and defined contribution plans.
  • Only two state-sponsored retirement plans serve every public worker well, regardless of their career tenure: South Carolina Retirement System’s “Optional Retirement Plan” (a defined contribution plan) and Tennessee Retirement System’s “Hybrid Plan.”

Download the key findings of the report here


The full 58-page report was launched alongside Equable’s Retirement Security Report—an interactive tool that evaluates the quality of retirement benefits offered to state and public workers.

National Landscape of Retirement Benefits key findings