New Research Offers Comprehensive Guide on Public Sector Hybrid Retirement Plans

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A new report provides a comprehensive  overview of the many aspects of public sector hybrid retirement plan designs. The report finds that some shifts to hybrid designs were made without a proper evaluation of the long-term implications of the plan changes. In contrast, other hybrids are well-thought-out and more likely to provide retirement security to employees, enabling public employers to recruit and retain a qualified workforce.


A hybrid is not one particular plan design, but instead is an umbrella term capturing a wide range of different plan designs. Some hybrids are defined benefit (DB) pensions with risk-sharing provisions, while others blend attributes of DB and defined contribution (DC) plans. Each of these plan designs offers tradeoffs in terms of retirement benefits, risks, and costs.

Author(s): Dan Doonan, Elizabeth Wiley

Publication Date: 10 May 2021

Publication Site: National Institute on Retirement Security

Pennsylvanians pay extra for public pensions




Forced to cover the higher pension checks, state and local taxpayer funding for PSERS, the big retirement plan for public-school educators, has risen year after year, soaring from just over $600 million in 2010 to $5 billion this year.

Now a little-noticed provision of a reform passed in 2010, known as the “shared risk” rule, has come back to haunt PSERS officials — and teachers, too.

Under the rule, teachers, not just taxpayers, must pay more into the $64 billion pension system whenever profits fall short on investments.

In an embarrassing admission, its board said on Monday that the policy meant many teachers will face a hike in their payments this year. This was the first time this has happened since the law was adopted.

The board for PSERS — the Public School Employees’ Retirement System — acknowledged it had previously endorsed an inflated number for investment returns, a figure it incorrectly thought was just high enough to spare teachers any increase.

Author(s): Joseph N. DiStefano

Publication Date: 24 April 2021

Publication Site: Philadelphia Inquirer