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A NEW REPORT finds that defined benefit pensions, especially public pensions, provide a key buffer against economic hardship for women, Blacks, Latinos and those without a four-year college degree, and narrow the wealth gap among older families.

NEA partnered with the National Institute on Retirement Security and UC Berkeley to support a research project on retirement inequality titled, “Closing the Gap: The Role of Public Pensions in Reducing Retirement Inequality.” (NEA will hold a webinar about the report on October 19; at press time, details were not known but can be found at

Defined benefit plans offer guaranteed retirement benefits for employees. The report finds that public pensions play an outsized role in the retirement income security of older adults and reduce wealth inequality by race and gender. As private pension coverage declines, according to the report, public sector retirement benefits form a bulwark of middle-class retirement security, particularly for marginalized communities who have been shut out of other wealth-building opportunities. Read the report at

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