In the U.S., most pubic sector employees–police, firefighters, teachers, and elected officials–have the option to participate in a public employee pension plan. Such plans are funded with a combination of employee and employer contributions and investment earnings. The health of these funds has become a matter of public concern in recent years.
The Pew Charitable Trusts estimates that ‘the nation’s state-run retirement systems had a $934 billion gap in fiscal year 2015 between the pension benefits that governments have promised their workers and the funding available to meet those obligations.”
Use the resources here to learn more about Iowa’s fund (IPERS), the state of public pension funds across the country, and options for strengthening the systems.
For a quick, visual explanation of the pension dilemma for Iowa teachers, watch this three minute video.