In the comments section of our newest "How can we help you?" post, Amanda asks:
Here is another simple question that I should probably know the answer to but can't quite figure out by googling. Do most TT professor positions come with a pension? Is this at all common? Since academics are generally getting a late start on retirement saving, this seems pretty important to know. More generally, how does a responsible academic save for retirement when they are 10-15 years late in the game?
Anon provided a helpful answer regarding jobs in the US:
The pension system in the USA is quite structured. You will probably be offered a plan with TIAA-CREF (these accounts are not tied to a single institution, so if you move it is no problem). Provided you live in an affordable city, then you should be able to save enough for retirement. But you should probably expect to work until you are 68 or so. That is not a problem as long as you do not lose your mind (seriously!).
Most (all?) tenure-track jobs in the US do indeed offer pensions--though it may be very helpful to inquire as to "employer matching" policies (many universities, my own included, have policies of matching your own contributions to your retirement account, in essence doubling what you are putting into it!).
However, this brings up issues raised in our previous query about differences across countries. Are retirement plan policies dramatically different for jobs in different countries? If so, which countries have better/more attractive policies, etc.? It might be helpful to hear from readers!