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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A policy analysis of public school retirement systems
by Lewis, Tara||||||Teeter, Matt, Ed.D., Saint Louis University, 2010, 186; 3437886
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this policy analysis was to examine the Missouri Public School Retirement System (PSRS). The team investigated the under-funding of PSRS, relating to sustainability and the feasibility of the system's use of one lever, contribution rate, to stabilize the retirement system, and to meet actuary needs and governmental requirements. The continual increase in the contribution rate may sustain the system, but is not feasible for all stakeholders including members, employers and taxpayers. Due to the economic downturn in October of 2007 and PSRS not being fully funded, the project team researched and analyzed criterion that would assist the system in maintaining sustainability and regaining feasibility.

A historical perspective summarizes the lineage of private and public pensions along with descriptions of member plan options. A comprehensive view of PSRS offers insight into the current policies to meet past, current and future members' needs. Research addressed particular levers which have the potential to change the outcomes within the system. The team analyzed Missouri's policy levers and then collected comparison information from surrounding states. After an analysis of the initial findings, the team decided to gather data from all 50 state public teacher retirement systems. This investigation revealed the commonalities and differences of retirement system policies throughout the nation.

The team offered alternatives to each criterion in respect to PSRS. A scoring guide was created to assess feasibility for members, employers and taxpayers and to assess sustainability using the funding status. The team evaluated Missouri's current system through the use of scoring guides developed by the team regarding feasibility for each policy lever and its impact upon stakeholders. The project concluded with recommendations to alter PSRS policies to benefit the educational system in Missouri. The recommendations were also scored using the feasibility and sustainability scoring guides to assure improvement would occur with the team recommendations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: James, John T.
School: Saint Louis University
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education finance, Education Policy, School administration
Keywords: Educational pensions, Pension scoring guides, Public school retirement, Retirement feasibility, Retirement systems, Underfunding
Publication Number: 3437886
ISBN: 978-1-124-38795-6
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