State and local employees for the most part are satisfied with their jobs but they made it clear that had it not been for the retirement benefits, health insurance and pension in particular, they likely would be working in the public sector.
New research by the National Institute on Retirement found that an overwhelming majority (92%) of state and local employees believe that eliminating pensions will weaken governments’ ability to attract and retain qualified workers, while 83% said a pension void would weaken public safety; 87% said it would weaken the U.S. education system.
Eliminating benefits could have severe workforce consequences, the research found. Seventy-three percent said they would be more likely to leave their job if their pension were cut, and 79% said they would be more likely to leave their job if their healthcare benefits were cut.
Moreover, more than half of state and local employees (58%) indicate that switching them out of a pension into an individual retirement plan, like a 401(k) plan, would make them more likely to leave their job.
State and local workers view pensions as a powerful recruitment and retention tool. Nearly all (93%) said pensions incentivize public workers to have long public service careers, while 94% said offering a pension is a good tool for attracting and retaining employees.
Further, the vast majority of state and local employees…