Retirement & Pensions

Education news, analysis, and opinion about school staff retirement and the related financial obligations and issues for districts and states
School & District Management Webinar How Pensions Work: Why It Matters for K-12 Education
Panelists explain the fundamentals of teacher pension finances — how they are paid for, what drives their costs, and their impact on K-12 education.
June 21, 2024
Jen Koop, a retired elementary special education teacher, sits with her two pen pals in spring 2023.
Jen Koop, a retired elementary special education teacher, sits with her two pen pals in spring 2023.
Courtesy photo
Teaching Profession 'Never Stop Learning’: Inside the Club for Retired Teachers
A club for retired teachers keeps lifelong educators connected to the young people in today's classrooms.
Madeline Will, February 13, 2024
6 min read
Illustration: ESG Concept of Environmental, Social and Governance.  Sustainable Development. Alternative Energy.
iStock/Getty Images
Budget & Finance ESG: The Hotly Contested Investment Strategy That Could Pose Trouble for Teacher Pensions
Pension funds are facing political pressure either to incorporate social goals into their investment approaches, or to do the opposite.
Mark Lieberman, March 8, 2023
6 min read
Illustration of money being carried away by a balloon that says "pensions"
Cemile Bingol/DigitalVision/Getty; Liz Yap/Education Week<br/>
Budget & Finance The Ballooning Expense That's Cutting Into Funding for Students
The costs of retirement benefits and unfunded pension liabilities have grown far more quickly than overall spending on K-12 schools.
Mark Lieberman, March 3, 2023
3 min read
Conceptual paper boat made from a dollar bill and floating on a dramatic seascape with storm clouds looming.
Budget & Finance The Bleak Outlook for Teacher Pensions: What You Need to Know
Public pensions for teachers and other school workers were only 75 percent funded by states and districts last year—a steep drop from 2021.
Mark Lieberman, January 11, 2023
3 min read
Teacher at chalkboard teaching student
Recruitment & Retention Part-Time Teaching Gigs Help Keep Experienced Educators. But the Approach Is Rare
The strategy might be one way to deal with an aging teacher force and a limited supply of new teachers.
Elizabeth Heubeck, December 29, 2022
6 min read
Image of digital currency transaction.
Teaching Profession The Cryptocurrency Collapse Spells Trouble For Teacher Pensions. Here's How
A pension fund expert explains how the FTX collapse could affect educators and school systems.
Mark Lieberman, December 7, 2022
4 min read
Betsy Peterson, a former K-5 technology teacher who was forced to retire early due to symptoms of long Covid, pictured in her home in Maynard, Mass., on November 21, 2022.
Betsy Peterson, a former K-5 technology teacher in Massachusetts, has been struggling with bureaucratic hurdles and debilitating symptom since contracting COVID at the start of the year.
Angela Rowlings for Education Week
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words 'I Just Want to Get Better': A Teacher With Long COVID Retires Earlier Than She'd Hoped
A former Massachusetts teacher shares how long COVID damaged her cognitive abilities and accelerated her retirement.
Mark Lieberman, November 22, 2022
5 min read
10 shortage solution 101222 615426228
iStock / Getty Images Plus
Recruitment & Retention 5 Strategies States Are Using to Fill Teacher Shortages
After months of scrambling, states have settled on a handful of practices. But experts say some could weaken the quality of teaching.
Madeline Will, October 17, 2022
6 min read
Female teacher taking the first step into a circular photo of a dark classroom with a spotlight shining on an empty chair in front of a chalkboard.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and Getty
Recruitment & Retention Could Retired Teachers Be the Answer to Shortages? It's Complicated
Some hard-pressed states are letting retired teachers "double dip" and collect their pension on top of a new salary.
Madeline Will, October 11, 2022
6 min read
Image of a calculator and fincancial visuals.
iStock/Getty collage
Budget & Finance Districts Spend Up to a Third of Their Payroll on Pensions. What That Means for Budgets
Despite healthy returns in 2021, some districts' share of retirement benefits and debt servicing has crept up to high levels.
Stephen Sawchuk, September 12, 2022
5 min read
Classroom without students. Empty desks
Recruitment & Retention From Our Research Center How Many Teachers Are Retiring or Quitting? Not as Many as You Might Think
An EdWeek Research Center survey found that teacher resignations in the year leading up to August 2022 were only slightly above 2019.
Libby Stanford, August 10, 2022
2 min read
Russian And Ukrainian flags on a desk.
Teaching Profession How the War in Ukraine Could Affect Teacher Pensions
K-12 pension funds are in the news as some states move to divest from Russian assets—but the impact on educators isn't yet clear.
Mark Lieberman, March 23, 2022
3 min read
Woman of color exiting out of a door.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Teaching Profession Exits by Black and Hispanic Teachers Pose a Threat to Learning Recovery
Amid the pandemic's toxic brew of death, illness, and classroom disruption, these departures have created another strain for students.
Heidi de Marco, Kaiser Health News, February 15, 2022
6 min read