2016 Retirement Confidence Survey of the State and Local Government Workforce
As state and local governments focus on pension and retiree healthcare reforms, public sector employees are focusing on “reform” of their personal retirement planning and saving.
Virtually all full-time state and local government employees are covered by some form of employment-based retirement plan, usually a traditional defined benefit pension. The role of defined contribution (DC) plans in the public sector, however, is increasing. These plans often provide a supplemental savings option, but in some cases they serve as the primary retirement plan or part of a hybrid arrangement. The expansion of DC plans is driven by the long-term fiscal challenges facing most states and localities, leading them to reform their retirement plans with changes in eligibility requirements, benefit levels and sometimes plan type.
This report reflects the continuation of a survey conducted in 2012 and 2014—The Retirement Confidence Survey of the State and Local Government Workforce—that examines the characteristics, preferences and experiences of full-time state and local government workers, as well as their retirement planning and saving decisions and confidence in their retirement income prospects. The researchers reached a representative sample of 1,255 full-time state and local government employees by telephone between June 23 and July 7, 2016. The sample consists of 500 K-12 teachers, 125 police officers, 130 firefighters and 500 other occupations. Responses were weighted to represent the aggregate public sector workforce.