Evolving workforce demographics and long-term budget issues pose the biggest challenges to public sector pension reform, according to a new report released by the TIAA-CREF Institute and the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

The report, entitled, Public Sector Pension Reform: Addressing Pressing Fiscal Realities from a Long-Term Perspective,  is based on input from state and local government officials, union leaders, and researchers from around the nation.  It sets forth several key consideration for public pension reform, including the need to consider hybrid benefit plans that leverage the benefits of both individual defined benefit and defined contribution plan elements;  changing lifestyle and workforce patterns; and short-term fiscal challenges as well as long-term human resource trends and objectives.

“Public pensions and their financing have been divisive issues in many state and local governments in recent years, and meeting pension obligations will continue to be a challenge in many state and local governments for years to come,” said Rockefeller Institute Director Thomas Gais in a recent press release.  

He said that this forum was unique in that it went beyond the immediate fiscal crisis to consider “the wide range of values and options involved in designing affordable pensions for the very important people who teach our children, police our streets, oversee public health, and maintain our infrastructure.”