As of 2012, New York is the state with the best teacher retirement plan, according to Chief Investment Officer magazine, with a funded status of 100.3 percent. However, the same report ranked the District of Columbia as the absolute best with a funded status of 101.9 percent.
The type of retirement plan is sometimes more important than the funded status percentage. Alaska is the only state with a teacher retirement plan comparable to a 401(k), which means it is fully portable with defined contributions. Florida, Michigan, Ohio and South Carolina also offer defined-contribution retirement plans to teachers.
Mississippi is the worst state for teacher retirement plans due to the inability to transfer the defined-benefit pension from one district to another, states Forbes. Teachers in Mississippi must pay in 9 percent of their salary to the defined-benefit plan, but cannot vest until 8 years with the district.