Zachary Christensen is a managing director of Reason Foundation's Pension Integrity Project.
Christensen’s work with Reason's Pension Integrity Project aims to promote solvent, sustainable retirement systems that provide retirement security for government workers while reducing long term costs for taxpayers and employees. Zachary and his team provides education, reform policy options, and actuarial analysis for policymakers and stakeholders to help them design reform proposals that are practical and viable.
The Pension Integrity Project has provided technical assistance to several successful pension reform efforts in recent years, including in Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, South Carolina, Texas and other states tackling persistent pension solvency challenges.
Christensen has contributed to in-depth solvency analysis of the Arizona PSPRS, Arkansas TRS, Louisiana TRSL, Texas ERS, and Texas TRS pension plans.
Christensen's work has been published in the Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, NJ.com, Colorado Politics, and many other publications. He has also been featured in the Carolina Journal and the Michigan Capitol Confidential. His research has been published by the Hoover Institution, The Platte Institute, Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Rio Grande Foundation.
Prior to joining Reason Foundation, Christensen was a pension finance analyst at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where he worked on widely-cited research on the funding status and accounting methods for public sector retirement systems.
Christensen holds an M.S. in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and a B.S. in Political Science from Brigham Young University.
Frequently asked questions about the Personal Retirement Optimization Plan
The Personal Retirement Optimization Plan (or PRO Plan) is a new framework for public worker retirement benefits that delivers post-employment security in a cost-effective way.
Analysis of South Carolina Senate Bill 176
Senate Bill 176 would provide new hires a secure and attractive retirement plan that better protects the state's taxpayers.
Analysis of Texas Senate Bill 321
Senate Bill 321 could save the state as much as $15 billion in long term costs and ensure that new employees' retirement benefits are fully funded.
Nebraska’s Growing Municipal Pension Funding Challenges
Omaha and Lincoln have made progress in addressing pension issues in recent years, but unfunded liabilities are likely to continue to grow and harm city finances.
Teacher Retirement System of Texas Solvency Analysis
Investment returns failing to meet unrealistic expectations have been the largest contributor to the public pension plan's unfunded liabilities, adding over $30 billion in debt since 2001.
Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Solvency Analysis
Recent reforms to the public safety personnel public pension system are showing significant savings and increased retirement security for employees.
Pension Reform for the New Normal Economy—Examining Colorado’s Successful Model
Colorado's 2018 pension reforms put the state on track to have its public employee retirement system fully funded in 30 years.