The Pension Research Council
PRC Book

The Future of Public Employee Retirement Systems

Olivia S. Mitchell and Gary W. Anderson, Editors

People covered by public pensions are often the subject of ‘pension envy:’ that is, their benefits might seem more generous and their contributions lower than those offered by the private sector. Yet this book points out that such judgments are often inaccurate, since civil servants hold jobs with few counterparts in private industry, such as firefighters, police, judges, and teachers.

The volume captures a vigorous debate currently underway by academics, financial experts, regulators, and plan sponsors, all seeking to define a new future for public retirement systems. It will be of substantial interest to a wide range of readers, since public sector employees and their representatives will naturally find the comparisons and arguments over valuation of keen interest. Public pension administrators and policymakers seeking an explanation of what makes these plans so costly will gain a new understanding of how the arguments stack up. Private sector employers and plan sponsors can learn much from efforts to reform these retirement systems in states and countries around the world. Finally, investors and the taxpaying public more generally may be at risk to cover these long-term promises, so it behoves them to pay close attention to the financing and investment practices of these plans, along with their valuation.

This volume represents an invaluable addition to the Pension Research Council / Oxford University Press series as it includes actuarial, economic, and financial perspectives making it useful for academics, retirement plan administrators, and public employees wishing to understand the challenges facing public pensions.

Publication date: October, 2009 · Oxford University Press · ISBN 0-19-957334-9