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The Future of Public Employee Retirement Systems$
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Olivia S. Mitchell and Gary Anderson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199573349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573349.001.0001

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The Evolution of Public Sector Pension Plans in the United States

The Evolution of Public Sector Pension Plans in the United States

(p.239) Chapter 14 The Evolution of Public Sector Pension Plans in the United States
The Future of Public Employee Retirement Systems

Robert L. Clark (Contributor Webpage)

Lee A. Craig

Neveen Ahmed

Oxford University Press

Municipal governments in the United States began offering retirement plans for their workers in the mid-nineteenth century, and state governments followed in the early twentieth century. As these plans matured, they confronted economic, social, and political challenges, including the creation of the Social Security system, which subsequently shaped their structure, governance, and generosity. After reviewing this history, the authors employ data from all fifty states to estimate a pension benefit equation for hypothetical workers and explain differences in the generosity of plans across states and types of workers covered. The authors show that population growth, plan funding, union representation, and participation in Social Security influenced the generosity of the plans.

Keywords:   pension history, pension funding, Normal Retirement Age, Social Security, replacement rates, Survey of State Pensions, union representation

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