ABSTRACTA QUALITATIVE STUDY OF THE PERCEPTIONS OF BEGINNING PK–12 PUBLIC EDUCATION TEACHERS ON DEFINED BENEFIT RETIREMENT PLANS. The significance of this study was its ability to further inform beginning PK–12 public education teachers and policy makers on the issue of teacher compensation. More specifically, the study shed light on beginning teachers’ limited understanding of their defined benefit (DB) retirement plans. The purpose of this basic interpretive qualitative study was to gain additional insight and further explore the perceptions and understanding of these teachers about their DB retirement plans. The study sought further understanding as to what these teachers knew about their DB retirement plans, how they developed this understanding, how this understanding impacted their sense of financial security upon retirement, and what if any effect this understanding had in terms of impacting their career decisions. A basic interpretative qualitative study, the researcher’s data sources for this study involved semi-structured, one-on-one interviews with twelve (12) beginning PK–12 public education teachers. Results of the study indicate that these teachers lacked clarity about their existing DB retirement plan as well as understanding of retirement plan options more broadly. Results indicate a struggle for these teachers to establish a relationship between their retirement benefits and financial security as well as the ability to make informed career decisions based on adequate understanding of retirement plan options. Implications included the need for related professional development for beginning teachers characterized by strategic planning, delivery, and ongoing evaluation along with the need for additional research.