This Toolkit a Must for Members


You appreciate your NYSTRS pension, but do you know enough about public pensions to explain the importance of them to others? Our Pension Education Toolkit provides the facts and research you need to do just that.

The Toolkit contains an abundance of information on the history and importance of defined benefit pensions, especially public sector pensions. Whether you are looking to dive deeply into why pensions are valuable and how they work, or you just need a few nuggets of information for dinner table conversation, this section of our website is a treasure trove for you.

When you first click on the Toolkit, you will find a roundup of several recent studies from various pension or retirement-related organizations confirming the positive impact that pensions have on individuals and the economy, and the need to maintain sustainable, cost-effective retirement income solutions.

Under Facts & Research you’ll find data split between NYSTRS-specific information and general industry research. Select the NYSTRS-Related Facts tab for a cornucopia of bite-sized facts and figures about the System, its strength and its sustainability. More detailed information about pensions in general can be found under the Retirement Industry Research tab.

Here are just a few of the tidbits of information you will discover as you explore the Toolkit:

  • NYSTRS is among the best-funded public sector plans in the nation, in large part because we have received uninterrupted employer and employee contributions throughout our history. Plans in other states have gotten into deep financial trouble by neglecting to make required pension contributions.
  • Research shows that defined benefit plans are much more cost-efficient than defined contribution plans because they pool multiple employee and employer contributions, and maintain a more balanced portfolio over a longer time period with professional management and lower fees.
  • In 1983, about 62% of workers with retirement plans had defined benefit plans, similar to the one administered by NYSTRS. By 2013, only 17% of workers had a defined benefit pension. The culprit: a series of federal tax laws passed in the mid-1980s that increased the regulatory burden on private sector plans and prompted companies to move from defined benefit to much less predictable (and more risky) defined contribution plans.
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