Switching California's teachers from pensions to 401(k) accounts would lower employee retention and raise taxpayer safety net costs, a new report says.

in California, warned a report released late last week by CalSTRS, the massive teacher pension system, on Friday.

“Ultimately, switching … would sharply reduce the retirement income security of teachers who account for a large majority of
educational labor in California,” said the study by professors at the University of California-Berkeley. The report was released Friday by CalSTRS, the massive teacher pension system.

The report said the costs of public assistance programs in the state would increased because teachers who would receive less from their employee-sponsored retirement accounts. Many public school teachers “in the state are not eligible for Social Security,” the report said.

Proponents of changing the teacher retirement system in California contend younger teachers are subsidizing the benefits of older teachers.

But the CalSTRS report said this claim doesn’t hold water because teachers who stay until retirement age make up half of the California public educator workforce.

Roughly 75 percent of  California teachers are expected to serve 20 or more years before they leave, and close to 37 percent will serve 30 years or more.

A better solution than switching for teachers who leave their jobs before retirement age would be to build in inflation increases to their final pay for benefit calculations, the study contended.