Foundations & Nonprofits

October 2011

Compared with U.S. workers in general, employees in the primary and secondary education sector tend to be more confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. Greater confidence among K-12 employees results, at least in part, from higher participation rates in retirement plans at work. Individuals in the K-12 workforce are also more likely to be retirement savers. Nonetheless, 56% of all K-12 employees consider themselves behind schedule in planning and saving for retirement.

June 2011

This paper summarizes a survey of university endowment funds, with a particular focus on the composition of endowment investment committees and how this composition is associated with a number of key activities. In general, we find that the typical investment committee member has financial credentials of some form and has experience as an executive or serving on other boards. We also find that most investment committee members are themselves donors to the university.

January 2011

Several myths about health insurance pervaded the health reform debate and interfered with plans for implementation. Many are built on a kernel of truth, but the simplification of complicated issues can lead to conclusions that are misleading, or just wrong. In this article, we draw on economic principles and empirical research to examine the arguments that underlie these misconceptions and the fundamental challenges these issues pose for the successful implementation of health reform.

January 2011

Retirement benefits represent a large and growing share of educator compensation. An important question is whether the current retirement benefit systems are an efficient or equitable way to structure educator compensation. An examination of the incentives built into typical state defined benefit plans suggests otherwise. Benefits are highly back-loaded, producing large peaks in pension wealth accrual followed by valleys of negative accrual.

December 2010

The retirement security landscape has changed drastically for most workers over the last thirty years – except for public school teachers and other state and local government employees. Many private-sector employers have stopped offering traditional retirement plans, while most state and local employees remain covered by defined benefit (DB) pension plans. Research shows that DB plans have had strong effects on worker retention in the private sector, as workers delayed retirement until they cash in on large pension wealth accruals late in their careers and then retire abruptly.

October 2010

This paper examines how controlling vendor access to public K-12 supplemental 403(b) plans improves teacher retirement outcomes by controlling the number of providers, products, investment options, and the level of fees that teachers pay on their retirement saving accounts. We sort retirement plan systems into two administrative levels (state or local school district) and two degrees of management and oversight (open access or controlled access). Open access management typically allows “any willing provider” access to plan participants.

September 2010

K-12 employees are more confident than all U.S. workers that they will have a financially comfortable retirement. Greater confidence results, at least in part, from higher participation rates in retirement plans at work; almost 90% of K-12 employees participate in a plan. The defined benefit pension is the dominant form of primary retirement plan sponsored in the K-12 sector; in addition, the availability of supplemental 403(b) plans has become near-universal.

August 2010

This report examines retirement planning and saving among the public sector work force (employees of states, counties, cities, towns and other municipalities) and worker confidence in their retirement income prospects. Compared with U.S. workers in general, public sector employees tend to be more confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. State and local government employees are more likely than all workers to be retirement savers, but they are not necessarily better retirement planners.

August 2010

The hospital workforce was surveyed regarding retirement planning, saving and investing behavior, as well as confidence in their retirement income prospects. Hospital workers are more likely than U.S. workers to be saving for retirement, but they are no more likely to have calculated how much they need to accumulate. Confidence levels among the hospital sector workforce regarding their prospects for a financially secure retirement generally mirror those of the U.S. workforce. Affording health care in retirement is a particular area of concern for hospital workers, as it is for all U.S.