The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. For more than 70 years, we have focused on serving the public, invigorating civic life, conducting nonpartisan research, advancing effective public policies and practices, and achieving tangible results. Through rigorous inquiry and knowledge sharing, we inform and engage public-spirited citizens and organizations, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause. We are a dedicated team of researchers, communicators, advocates, subject matter experts, and professionals working on some of today’s big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our hometown and the majority of our staff located in Washington, D.C., our U.S. and international staff find working at Pew personally and professionally rewarding.
Wise stewardship of resources allows Pew employees to pursue work that strategically furthers our mission in significant and measurable ways. We collaborate with a diverse range of philanthropic partners, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven initiatives to improve society. Pew attracts top talent, people of integrity who are service-oriented and willing to take on challenging assignments. We provide competitive pay and benefits, a healthy work-life balance, and a respectful and inclusive workplace. Pew employees are proud of their colleagues, proud of where they work, and proud of the institution’s reputation.
The Government Performance Portfolio within Program
Pew’s government performance work identifies and advances effective approaches to help solve complex challenges at all levels of government in the United States.
The portfolio’s work can be traced back to our founders’ early efforts to improve the lives of Americans by supporting efforts that promoted health, civic engagement, and democratic ideals. Today, we conduct research on emerging topics, develop data-driven reports, and highlight innovative approaches in addressing complex problems at the federal, state, and local levels. Current initiatives focus on health and human services, government management and budget, family economic stability, and safety and justice.
Our teams explore and advance effective policy reforms using credible, timely, and accessible research, assessing public support for change, identifying approaches that have proved successful elsewhere, and bringing together diverse perspectives to find common ground. In addition, our teams use strategic outreach and dissemination to ensure that good information is widely communicated to decision-makers, media, influential stakeholders, and the public.
Strengthening Public Sector Retirement Systems
Public pension reform is one of the most significant fiscal challenges facing states and municipalities today. In fact, our research shows that as of 2016, state governments had pension debts totaling $1.4 trillion. Although some plans are well-funded, in other places, if changes are not made, retirees, workers, and taxpayers will be left with rising costs and unpaid promises for years to come.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every state and municipality has a unique set of policy preferences and budgetary challenges. Given the high stakes for states’ budgets and workers, policymakers need trusted information and guidance to help them consider possible options, understand what is known about each, then make decisions based on the best available information. This project will work with states to examine their challenges and help policymakers consider data-driven policies that result in sustainable retirement systems while maintaining states’ ability to recruit and retain skilled workers.
Specifically, the project will:
- Provide highly credible, independent, and nonpartisan research, including 50-state reports, to help answer critical questions about which policy actions are most effective at controlling costs, meeting states’ policy goals, and providing workers with retirement security;
- Provide selected states with customized technical assistance informed by tailored research; and
- Engage influential stakeholders to build the support necessary to enact reform.
The associate I will perform data analysis and policy research related to state and local public pension plans, while supporting the entire spectrum of activity under the project. The ideal candidate has an educational and employment background in public policy or related field with experience synthesizing data and research to produce effective and clear written materials useful to policymakers and/or the public.
The position, based in Pew’s Washington, D.C., office, reports to the manager, research, strengthening public sector retirement systems. The position has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding sources and board decisions on continued support.