A Role for Defined Contribution Plans in the Public Sector


Three new plans studied in Georgia, Michigan, and Utah combine elements of both defined benefit and defined contribution plans.

Alicia H. Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry, Josh Hurwitz, and Laura Quinby of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Publication date:
April 2011
Filed under:
Research Studies
Key findings:
  • In recent years, a few states have shifted from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) pension plans.
  • Many of the new plans are “hybrids” with a slimmed down DB plan and a minimal DC plan, which shifts substantial risk to employees.
  • An alternative hybrid design could offer a full DB plan up to an income cap and “stack” a DC plan on top for those with higher incomes.
  • The “stacked” approach would give those with modest incomes the full protection of a DB plan while limiting taxpayers’ commitment to those with higher incomes.
Download publication:
A Role for DC Plans