After doing the blog on the hypocrisy of the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) advocating for Defined Benefit plans in the public sector while they themselves provide their employees most of their pension benefits through a 401(k) plan I got to wondering how other think tanks were compensating their employees. Augmenting the hit list provided by NCPERS I researched 24 think tanks on http://www.guidestar.org for their 990 forms and http://www.efast.dol.org for their 5500 forms for a comparison (all forms are here).
Two things stand out.
1) these places pay pretty well judging by the salary of the highest paid official from each:
2) None are putting much, if any, faith in Defined Benefit plans for their retirements:
The 24 break down this way:
- 11- no plan
- 12 – 401(k) as primary plan*
- 1 – Defined Benefit Plan only and benefits under that plan (Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation) have been frozen since 2010 allowing the plan to get to full funding.
The people who, in theory, know more than us have effectively abandoned Defined Benefit plans. Even the primary advocate of Defined Benefit plans in the public sector (NCPERS) has only a token DB plan that could just as easily switch the $20,000 annually being deposited into it to the much larger 401(k) plan that they maintain.
Could they all be jealous of public sector workers and their super-underfunded Defined Benefit plans?
* The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research maintains both a Money Purchase and 401(k) Plan while the Franklin Center terminated their 403(b) plan in 2015 and started up a 401(k) which might be a 401(k)(10) issue.