A case study of the retirement portability for Missouri educators identifying and assessing the driving and restraining forces for policy change
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The study was conducted to identify the policy factors that are driving selected public employment retirement systems to increase portability options for Missouri educators and to identify the policy factors that are restraining public employment retirement systems to increase portability options for Missouri educators. This case study design explored the policy implications of current portability provisions and the current perceptions and attitudes of various stakeholders. The retirement systems that were a part of the case study included the Public School Retirement System of Missouri; the Public Education Employee Retirement System; the ; and the University of Missouri Retirement System. Using force field analysis (Preuss, 2003), the study then determined, from the perspective of the decision makers and stakeholders, what the driving forces are that are making it more likely that specific public employment retirement systems will increase portability options for Missouri educators. Conversely, the study also determined, from the same perspective, what the restraining forces are that are making it less likely that the retirement systems will increase portability options for Missouri educators. Finally, the researcher attempted to gauge the relative strengths of the driving and restraining forces. The research indicated that there were two strong driving forces for increased portability including the desire for the state to attract and retain quality and experienced employees and the retirement member self-interest to increase their individual pensions. In addition, there were four driving forces that were determined to be relatively weak including: a) the desire to promote labor mobility; b) desire to ensure adequate pensions for retirees; c) perceptions of a more mobile workforce than when plans were introduced; and d) employees desire to not be constrained by retirement provisions limiting mobility. The study found the five strong restraining forces that tended to inhibit increased portability options including: a) the cost of increased portability; b) constitutional problems caused by the "Hancock Amendment;" c) complications of providing portability; d) employers desire to retain experienced staff; and e) resistance due to having no options that are reciprocal. Weak restraining forces included the uncertainty over who should pay the costs, and the affected group is small and lacks knowledge of the issue.
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