Defined Contribution Retirement Plan: Good for Workers

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff, Rochester Business Journal.

Kent Gardner“And which retirement plan do you want?” Retirement?!! As a newly appointed Assistant Professor of Economics at Potsdam College of SUNY, I was 28 and starting my first real professional job. I was being asked to make a decision that would have little impact on my life for 37 years.

I was offered two options: The first was the NYS Employee Retirement System (ERS). If I stayed in state service and retired at age 65, I would be eligible for annual benefits equal to 70.5% of my final average salary (defined as the highest salary earned in three consecutive years). My contribution would have been 3% of salary for the first ten years. The remainder of the cost would be paid by the state. This is what is called a “defined benefit” retirement plan. Regardless of what happens to the invested money, NYS promises to pay out a specified benefit for as long as I live. Read more »

Rankings: What they can — and can’t — tell you

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff.

Kent GardnerLast week, we issued a report through Govistics – a project of CGR – ranking U.S. states by average 2010 state worker salaries. New Jersey and New York topped the list, followed by California, Alaska, Maryland and Connecticut. All had average state worker earnings of over $50,000. Indiana, Missouri, West Virginia and the Dakotas rounded out the bottom of the list, with average salaries of less than $35,000. Of the six top-paying states, all but Connecticut saw an increase in state worker pay from 2009 to 2010, with New York state workers seeing a 3.4% increase in their paychecks. Of the bottom five, all but Indiana saw increases in state worker pay.

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