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NEA Retirement Security Resources

Publications, toolkits, and web sites to learn more about retirement security.

See NEA Retirement Security Frequently Asked Questions  for materials to help you understand, defend, and strengthen the quality and level of retirement benefits for yourself and other public education employees.


  • National Public Pension Coalition
    Behind every public pension is a real teacher, figherfighter, nurse, librarian or other public employee who keeps our communities safe and prospering. Learn how you can have access to a secure and dignified retirement and read the real stories behind the real people who have come together to protect their reitrement security. 
  • Who Should Make Pension Fund Decisions? (2011) (PDF, 101 KB, 4pp)
    Who should make pension fund decisions? Research says: member trustees on pension boards work better with investments and tax dollars than political appointees. This fact sheet provides research results that can be used to counter proposals to reduce the number of member trustees on pension boards and replace them with political appointees.
  • Characteristics of Large Public Education Pension Plans (2010) (PDF, 901 KB, 192pp)
    Since 1969, the National Education Association has conducted surveys of large public pension plans that include public education employees. This new edition provides data on more than 100 public education pension plans in all 50 states in the areas of plan membership, assets, retirement eligibility, vesting requirements, purchase of service credit, state taxation of benefits, employee and employer contribution rates, plan benefit formulas and limitations, actuarial methods, funding, and board membership.
  • Does Scale Matter for Public Sector Defined Benefit Plans? (2009) (PDF, 1.6 MB, 44pp)
    This report explores whether conclusions can be made about the relationship between the size of a retirement system and its cost effectiveness.
  • Protecting the Retirement Security of NEA Members: A Toolkit
    Has information you'll need to protect your pension plan from legislative attack. It includes the advantages of defined benefit (DB) pension plans and the weaknesses of defined contribution (DC) pension plans, what the research shows about converting DB plans to DC plans, how to respond to the arguments you'll hear, and how to conduct campaigns around pension issues. (2004)
  • NEA Issue Brief on Pension Protections in State Constitutions (2004) (PDF, 216 KB, 24pp)
    Examines the pension protections currently in state constitutions and offers model language for those advocating for such a provision to protect the retirement system and its members.
  • NEA Issue Brief on Retirement Board Governance and Independence (PDF, 53 KB, 5pp)
    Examines why membership of retirement boards should include plan participants and why retirement boards should be independent of the government that sponsors them.
  • Traditional Defined Benefit Pension Plans: A Tried and True System That Benefits Taxpayers (PDF, 61 KB, 1p)
    This NEA fact sheet gives reasons why the traditional pension system is the best way to ensure that tax payers reliably receive vital services.
  • Don't Destroy a Proven System (PDF, 63 KB, 2pp)
    This NEA fact sheet explains that the traditional pension system works—and has for more than 100 years. It is flexible and provides vital services to taxpayers at a low cost.
  • NEA Handbook
    Published annually, with information on retirement security issues under:
    • Resolutions - NEA Resolutions are formal expressions of opinion, intent, belief, or position of the Association, and address issues linked to school employee retirement security.
    • Legislative Program - The NEA Representative Assembly adopts the Legislative Program, which includes legislative issues linked to school employee retirement security issues.
  • National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR)
    NCTR is an organization that includes 77 state, territorial, local, and university pension systems. The NCTR Web site includes publications, statements, studies and surveys, and other items of interest.
  • National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS)
    NCPERS is a trade association for public sector pension funds, offers helpful links to resources for those interested in public pensions.
  • National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA)
    NASRA's members include the directors of the nation's public retirement systems. NASRA maintains a clearinghouse of information and resources pertinent to public retirement system administration and policy that is available from the NASRA Web site.
  • National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS)
    NIRS was established by the Council of Institutional Investors, NASRA, and NCTR to conduct research and education programs regarding the traditional defined benefit pension system. The NIRS Web site provides research reports and briefs, commentary, news, important pension data, and educational materials.


  • Social Security and Medicare Fact Sheet (2011 rev. ed.) (PDF, 362 KB, 8pp)
    This fact sheet provides a summary of Social Security benefits, how to qualify, how benefits are calculated, and how to obtain a benefits estimate. The Medicare program summary section describes Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, and Medicare supplement insurance policies. *Note: In some states, some or most public school employees do not have Social Security coverage through their school employment. In those states, the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) will reduce their Social Security benefit based on other employment or on their spouse's record. Please see the Legislative Action Center for more information.
  • Medicare and You 2009
    This booklet from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provides information on 2008 costs, what’s covered, health plans, prescription drug plans, and rights and appeals.
  • Overview of Medicare Part D Organizations, Plans and Benefits by Enrollment in 2006 and 2007
    The Kaiser Family Foundation provides detailed information on Medicare beneficiaries' enrollment in private drug plans available in 2007.
  • Medicare Advantage Fact Sheet
    The Kaiser Family Foundation provides data on the number of Medicare beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans, types of plans, plan reimbursement, and the future of these plans.
  • Financing Medicare: An Issue Brief (January 2008)
    The Kaiser Family Foundation provides background information on how the Medicare program is funded, the financial health of the program, factors driving Medicare cost increases, how rising costs impact beneficiaries, outlook for the future, and a chart explaining the different trust funds and their financing sources.
  • Medicare: A National Treasure for Forty Years (July 2005)
    This report from the Medicare Rights Center describes how Medicare has improved access to health care, quality of life, contains costs, supports the health care system, enjoys widespread support, and discusses the future of Medicare.
  • The Case for Standardizing and Simplifying Medicare Private Health Plans (September 2007)
    This position paper from the Medicare Rights Center and California Health Advocates describes how Medicare beneficiaries would be best served if there were a limited number and type of Medicare Advantage plans available to beneficiaries due the wide array of benefit packages, utilization management requirements, and out of pocket costs. 
  • Too Good To Be True: The Fine Print in the Medicare Private Health Plan Benefits (April 2007)
    This paper from the Medicare Rights Center describes how Medicare beneficiaries face numerous problems with private Medicare plans such as hidden out of pocket costs, difficulty getting emergency care, and that the promised benefits turn out to be limited.
  • After the Goldrush: The Marketing of Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans, Regulatory Oversight of Insurance Companies and Agents Inadequate to Protect People with Medicare (January 2007)
    This report reviews the plans offered by private health plans and Part D drug plans, how to enroll, rules for eligibility, insurer marketing requirements, discussion of state regulation of these plans, and, recommendations for broader oversight and accountability of these plans.
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2008 and Key Changes since 2006: Summary of Findings (April 2008)
    This report by the Kaiser Family Foundation discusses plan availability, premiums, the coverage gap, benefit design and cost sharing, specialty tiers, formularies and utilization management of Medicare Part D drug plans.
  • HHS Hospital Comparison Web Site
    HHS provides a hospital comparison Web site with information on patient experiences with the care received in hospitals such as data on hospital processes, outcome measures, and Medicare payments and volume for certain procedures and diagnoses.

Social Security

  • NEA Legislative Action CenterThis Web area provides current information about the Social Security issues Congress is considering and NEA’s position, testimony, advocacy efforts, and more. You can sign up to receive the GPO/WEP Newsletter.
  • Social Security and Medicare Fact Sheet (2010 rev. ed.) (PDF, 441 KB, 8pp)
    This fact sheet summarizes benefits under Social Security and Medicare, explains how you qualify for benefits, as well as details on Medicare eligibility, coverage, and the premium amounts for hospital and medical insurance under the original plan (Parts A and B).
  • National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
    The organization was founded in 1982 to serve as an advocate for Social Security and Medicare and for all Americans who seek a healthy, productive, and secure retirement. Its Web site provides information and news, including a Social Security primer, benefits by state, fast facts about disability, myths and facts about Social Security privatization, and more.
  • EPI Issue Guide – Social Security
    The Economic Policy Institute guide contains general information on Social Security, frequently asked questions, projections, links to other EPI publications concerning Social Security, and links to research by other organizations.

Retiree Health Benefits

  • Savings Needed To Fund Health Care in Retirement Retiree health care costs are increasing rapidly, and even if you're covered by Medicare, you can expect to have large out of pocket costs. This report, from the Employee Benefits Research Institute, looks at just how much you may need to contribute toward your health care coverage in retirement.
  • GASB Plain Talk About New Accounting Standards for Education Employees (PDF, 66 KB, 3pp)
    New accounting standards for state and local governments (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) are pushing many governments to calculate and report the estimated future cost of the retiree health care benefits they've promised to their employees, including teachers, higher ed. faculty and ESPs. This short fact sheet describes the new accounting standards in plain English.
  • GASB Myths and Facts About New Accounting Standards for Education Employees (PDF, 62 KB, 3pp)
    Don't let posturing from politicians and editorial writers scare you into giving up your retiree health care benefits. New accounting standards for state and local governments (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) are giving rise to new and dire projections about the future cost of promised retiree health care benefits, but common myths about the standards frequently lead to exaggerations, doomsday predictions, and bad policy decisions. This fact sheet identifies common myths surrounding the new accounting standards and provides the facts.



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