A project of the Manhattan Institute's
Center for State and Local Leadership
A defined benefit pension guarantees workers a fixed payment throughout their years of retirement. Though increasingly rare in the private sector, it remains the standard form of retirement benefit provided by state and local governments. Pensions are now one of the most hotly-debated topics in public finance, due to their rising costs and generosity relative to what most taxpayers receive.
The pension calculator tool below is intended to inform the pension debate, by allowing users to easily compare benefit levels across all 50 states. Simply click on a state highlighted in blue in the map below to estimate the pension that you would collect after a career in government. The calculator will also provide an estimate of the total annuity cost, or how much you would need to save to replicate that guaranteed income stream in retirement. To compare generosity of benefits between states, click on the "Compare States" tab.