State and local governments dealing with pension challenges will be able to use a new tool from the Urban Institute in Washington to model possible changes.
The interactive tool, “Build Your Own Pension Plan,” is expected to be released next week by the independent think tank.
As part of its Public Pensions Project, the Urban Institute also has a pension report card that grades states on pension funding, retirement security for both short-term and long-term employees, and workforce incentives.
New approaches like cash balance plans and offering annuities for public-sector workers score well on the report card, said Richard Johnson, senior fellow and program director for retirement policy at the Urban Institute. While they don’t solve current underfunding woes, “they represent the kind of bold thinking needed to address the pension challenges confronting state and local governments. There are better ways of reforming pensions that can provide public servants with secure retirements and still save taxpayers money,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement.
The tool will be available on the Urban Institute’s website.