Covering 14 million state and local government employees, public pension plans typically provide lifetime retirement benefits that are based on years of service and the salary earned near the end of a career. Many of these plans, however, face serious financial problems and may be ill suited to a changing workplace, the Urban Institute notes.
Many public pensions have issued reforms. The Urban Institute has developed the public pension simulator, allowing state and local policymakers, along with public employees and retirees, to review the potential impact of reform options on plan cost and retiree benefits.
The public pension simulator shows how much state and local government retirees would receive in pension benefits, how much governments will pay for those benefits, and how costs and benefits would change under various pension reforms. Calculations depend on various user-set assumptions.
The tool can be found at http://pensionsimulator.urban.org