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  • Golden handcuffs


    Golden handcuffs, a phrase first recorded in 1976, refers to financial allurements and benefits that have the objective to encourage highly compensated employees to remain within a company or organization instead of moving from company to company (or organization to organization) (opposite of a golden parachute). Golden handcuffs come in different forms, such as employee stock options, which endow only when the employee has been with the company or organization for a certain number of years, and contractual agreements, consisting of bonuses or other forms of benefits which must be repaid to the company if the employee leaves before the date agreed on. Golden handcuffs are frequently used for jobs that require rare and specialised skills or in a "tight labor market", where jobs are more common than workers. In any case, although they are very expensive, they are usually less expensive than the cost to replace a particular employee. Golden handcuffs often receive scrutiny from shareholders and directors.

  • Public employee pension plans in the United States


    In the United States, public sector pensions are offered by federal, state and local levels of government. They are available to most, but not all, public sector employees. These employer contributions to these plans typically vest after some period of time. These plans may be defined-benefit or defined-contribution pension plans, but the former have been most widely used by public agencies in the U.S. throughout the late twentieth century. Some local governments do not offer defined-benefit pensions but may offer a defined contribution plan. In many states, public employee pension plans are known as Public Employee Retirement Systems (PERS). Unlike the private sector, in the public sector once an employee is hired their pension benefit terms cannot be changed. Retirement age in the public sector is usually lower than in the private sector. Public pension plan managers in the United States take higher risks investing the funds than ones outside the United States or those in the private sector.

  • Civil Service Retirement System


    The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) was organized in 1920 and has provided retirement, disability, and survivor benefits for most civilian employees in the United States federal government. Upon the creation of a new Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1987, those newly hired after that date cannot participate in CSRS. CSRS continues to provide retirement benefits to those eligible to receive them. CSRS is a defined-benefit plan, akin to a pension. Notably, though, CSRS employees do not participate in Social Security (unless having worked in the private sector beforehand, and then subject to penalties). Employees hired after 1983 are required to be covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), which is a three tiered retirement system with a smaller defined benefit (pension), Social Security, and a 401(k)-style system called the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The defined benefits of both the CSRS and the FERS systems are paid out of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, which had a projected balance of $898 billion as of September 30, 2017.

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