Retirement Patterns of California Prekindergarten–Grade 12 Educators

Primary Researchers: Anthony Fong, Reino Makkonen

Publication Date: February 2012


Given the magnitude of the recent economic recession in California, along with the baby boomer population currently reaching peak retirement ages, state education leaders have expressed interest in investigating educator retirement trends over time. This study examined the retirement patterns of California educators since 1995/96 from several angles, including shifts in the age distribution of school staff, variations in retirement rates, factors potentially influencing the timing of educators’ retirement, and variations in the rates of post-retirement employment.

We found that 1) in the most recent school year, the statewide age distribution was bimodal, with separate clusters of educators centered around ages 39 and 60; 2) older educators (those aged 61 to 64) are now retiring at higher rates; 3) a decrease of $1,000 in per-pupil local revenue is associated with an increase of approximately 4 percent in the odds of retirement; and 4) the percentage of retired educators working post-retirement increased from approximately 3 percent in 1995/96 to over 11 percent in 2007/08.

  • Published: February 2012
  • Research Type: Issues & Answers
  • Methodologies: Descriptive
  • Contact info:
    Anthony Fong (415) 615-3289


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