How Much Do Colorado Teachers Gain from the State Retirement System

Brief

How Much Do Colorado Teachers Gain from the State Retirement System

Abstract

Colorado has one of the nation’s worst-funded public retirement systems, but recent legislative reforms could improve its financial outlook. These reforms do not, however, address inequities in the distribution of pension benefits across the teacher workforce. The system provides substantial retirement benefits to teachers who spend their entire career in Colorado classrooms, but it provides meager benefits to teachers with shorter tenures. We estimate that Colorado teachers hired at age 25 must work 26 years before they gain anything from the state retirement system, and only about one in five teachers hired at age 25 remain employed that long.

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