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Deferred compensation for career employees in public defined benefit pension plans: evidence from Colorado PERA


With significant under funding of public defined benefit pension plans, public debate often focuses on funding problems, neglecting benefit-side factors that contribute to under funding. In this study we examine the benefit side by calculating the value of deferred compensation, using a unique dataset of salary histories for recent university retirees covered by the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association plan. We find sizable levels of deferred compensation that is associated with retirement age and period, job class, service years, and to some extent gender, with administrators receiving the highest levels. We also find wage–earning profiles to underestimate salary growth for higher-paid employees.

Corresponding author
Correspondence Address: The Business School, University of Colorado Denver, Campus Box 165, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO. 80217-3364, USA.
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Journal of Pension Economics & Finance
  • ISSN: 1474-7472
  • EISSN: 1475-3022
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-pension-economics-and-finance
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