Commentary

Pension Reform: Lessons from Four Case Studies

Drawing from the four state case studies (Utah, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Illinois), Patrick McGuinn at the Brookings Institution provides a number of important lessons and recommendations for policymakers to navigate the challenges of pension reform:

  • States should make their complete annual actuarial payment
  • Need a credible and visible reform champion
  • Gather and disseminate the hard data
  • Communicate and educate
  • Build a diverse coalition and a statewide advocacy campaign
  • Avoid turning pension reform into an ideological issue
  • Demonstrate pensions’ impact on taxes and other state spending priorities
  • Sell the benefits of pension reform to state workers and school reformers

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