The Truth About Pensions

The Basics

In addition to fair wages, reasonable benefits and safe working conditions, every American who works hard and plays by the rules should have access to a secure and dignified retirement. The best standard for a secure retirement includes Social Security, personal savings and access to a defined benefit pension.

Most public employees pay into a defined benefit pension system. Workers contribute a portion of every paycheck—similar to how virtually all working Americans pay a portion of each paycheck into Social Security—to fund a pension system. Combined with the employer contributions, the pension system invests the funds and uses the returns to pay a defined amount of money each month that nurses, firefighters, teachers and librarians can count on upon their retirement.