New Report Finds Strong Support for Teacher Pensions
Good news for retired teachers! A new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) finds strong support for teacher pensions. When Americans were asked if they agree or disagree whether public school teachers deserve pensions to compensate for lower pay, 81 percent said they agree.
The NIRS report polled Americans on their views about retirement and public pensions. With regard to public pension benefit levels, more than half of Americans (52 percent) say they believe that public pension benefit levels are about right at $2,205 per month, while 37 percent say the benefits are too low.
In this biennial public opinion poll, NIRS also found that Americans see the value in public pensions as a human resources and workforce management tool. Some 92 percent of Americans agree that pensions are a good way to recruit and retain public sector workers like teachers, police officers and firefighters.
The report also finds that although the nation is deeply divided on many issues, Democrats and Republicans agree regarding retirement insecurity. Some 76 percent of Americans are concerned about their ability to achieve a secure retirement, with that level of worry at 78 percent for Democrats and 76 percent for Republicans. The polling also reveals that 88 percent of Americans agree that the nation faces a retirement crisis, and the concern also is high across party lines.
Other findings are as follows:
Americans regard pensions as a route to economic security in retirement, and see these retirement plans as better than 401(k) accounts. Some 82 percent of Americans have a favorable view of pensions. Some 71 percent of Americans say that pensions do more to help workers achieve a secure retirement as compared to 401(k) plans, and 65 percent say pensions are safer than 401(k) plans.
Americans say national leaders still don’t understand their retirement struggle, and they remain highly supportive of state efforts to address the retirement crisis. An overwhelming majority of Americans (85 percent) say leaders in Washington do not understand how hard it is to prepare for retirement. Americans believe that state-sponsored retirement savings programs for workers not covered by their employers’ plans are a good idea (75 percent).
Protecting Social Security remains important to Americans. Some 76 percent of Americans say it is a mistake to cut government spending to reduce Social Security benefits for current retirees, up from 73 percent in 2015. When it comes to adjusting benefits for future generations, 73 percent oppose cutting government spending that reduces Social Security benefits.
The full report, Retirement Security 2017: Americans’ Views of the Retirement Crisis and Solutions, is available here.