Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Policy and Management (PPM)


Public Policy and Management

First Advisor

Professor Josie LaPlante

Second Advisor

Professor Josie LaPlante


Retirement Benefits, Public Employee Pension Systems, Muskie School of Public Service, USM Aging Initiative, Economics, Policy


Among the many tough choices states must make is how to address funding shortfalls in public employee pension systems. In public sector employment, pensions have long been a key component of the compensation system and an integral way to attract and retain talent in public service positions. The pension is considered a form of deferred compensation, which means that workers receive a salary lower than the going rate for their education, skills and job requirements in exchange for an enhanced retirement package (Bender & Heywood, 2010). State employees incur an opportunity cost by taking a lower-salaried state job over a private sector job. There is growing concern and controversy surrounding the unfunded liabilities for state employee pensions and other retiree benefits.



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