Alicia Munnell is one of the big dogs in the studying retirement biz.
From Boston College's Center for Retirement Research:
...The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section presents the data and methodology to estimate the impact of state-local employment on wealth at age 65. The second section presents the results. They show that those with state-local employment who spent more than half their career as a public worker – about one-third of the total group – had 11 percent to18 percent more wealth at age 65 than similar private sector couples. The other two-thirds of those with state-local employment who spent less than half their career as a public worker ended up with less wealth than private sector employees. The third section discusses issues raised by the analysis – the possibility that state-local workers retire early, the role of defined benefit plans, and recent developments that might limit the applicability of the results to today’s environ-ment. The final section concludes that, despite some limitations, the results refute the notion that state-local workers as a group end up a lot richer than their private sector counterparts....MORE (16 page PDF)