The subject of teacher pensions is a critical and yet understudied area in the education policy. NCPI researchers are exploring the role of teacher retirement benefit systems as part of comprehensive research agenda focused on teacher compensation. Teachers are financially compensated for their services in two key ways, through current pay, in the form of salaries and benefits, and through deferred pay in the form of retirement benefits. While many researchers and policy analysts have devoted substantial attention to teacher pay, until recently, almost no studies have examined teacher retirement systems.
As part of an effort to focus attention on teacher retirement systems, NCPI hosted a two-day research conference in February 2009 entitled Teacher Retirement Benefit Systems. The conference brought together scholars from renowned universities and research institutions across the country to discuss the design and implications of teacher retirement systems used in the American K-12 public education system. A follow up policy conference was hosted by the REL Southwest in July 2009.