N.J.’s Teacher Pension System Gets a “C”

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The National Council on Teacher Quality just released its state-by-state rankings of teacher pension systems, and N.J.’s is mediocre. We did well on categories related to how teachers uniformly accrue pensions for each year of work. However, we did poorly on how well our system is funded (current liability is $90 billion) and on its fairness and flexibility for teachers. Here’s the drill-down:

Snapshot of New Jersey’s Pension System

Teacher pension is well-funded (at least 90%)                                                               NO
Teachers have the option of a fully portable pension plan                                             NO
Teachers vest in three years or less                                                                                 NO
Teachers leaving early can take at least a partial employer contribution with them      NO
Teacher and employer contribution rates are reasonable                                               NO
Retirement eligibility is based on age only                                                                    YES
Pension benefits accrue in a way that treats each year of work uniformly                    YES

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