The goal of public employee pensions is twofold: to provide a safe and secure retirement for our valued state employees and to help recruit and retain talented individuals into public service careers. Unfortunately, many of Missouri’s public employee pension systems have flaws that make it difficult to achieve either of these tasks.

Moreover, these pension plans put taxpayers on the hook if and when they become unfunded. The Show-Me Institute consistently points to the flaws in these systems and has recommended that the state transition to plans that are structured in a more effective and efficient manner. This would require closing some of our current pension plans. Some opponents of this idea worry that closing our current plans would not save the state money; rather, they say it would be more risky and would result in high transition costs. This is the topic addressed in our policy study “Missouri Transition Costs and Public Pension Reform,” by Andrew Biggs, Ph.D, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

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About the Author

James Shuls
James V. Shuls is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and Distinguished Fellow in Education Policy at the Show-Me Institute.
Michael Rathbone
Michael Rathbone was a policy researcher at the Show-Me Institute. He is a native of Saint Louis and a 2008 graduate of Saint Louis University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering.