A new national poll released yesterday shows that pension benefits are one of the most important job features for state and local government employees, with 93 percent of them saying that pensions incentivize workers to have long careers in the public sector. 

The poll, conducted by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), also revealed that pensions are important for recruiting and retaining the best public employees. 94 percent of state and local employees said pensions are an effective tool for workforce retention, and 73 percent of them also claimed they would be more likely to leave their job if their pension was cut. 

The vast majority of those surveyed also had a favorable view of pensions (94 percent) and pensions were found to be a critical part of an employee’s compensation package, with just 19 percent of state and local employees claiming their compensation would be competitive without a pension. The median pension is about $15,500 a year. 

Kevin Reddy, a firefighter from Wyoming, said in the news release announcing the findings that pensions are “a key part of our compensation” for firefighters across his state. 

“A pension provides financial security in retirement, and it also provides important death and disability benefits for firefighters and their families,” Reddy said. “Pensions also play a critical role in recruiting and retaining firefighters here in Wyoming, so it’s important to offer these retirement benefits. I plan to stay on the job as long as I’m able, and I appreciate having a pension at the end of my career.”

For more information from the poll, including methodology and further findings, be sure to check out NIRS’s full report, titled State and Local Employees Views Their Jobs, Pay and Benefits.”