Public school teachers do not generally have 401(k) accounts but instead have 403(b) accounts, which can sometimes create confusion and problems, according to The New York Times article "Think Your Retirement Plan Is Bad? Talk to a Teacher."
These 403(b) accounts require teachers to sort through a large amount of investment options that can be very costly and difficult to understand. Many are steered into variable annuities that have high annual fees and harsh penalties from withdrawing from the plan.
While most public school teachers also have pension plans, those plans are not always as good as the general public assumes. Teachers often do not work long enough in the field to receive full benefits and in many states they are not eligible for Social Security benefits. That means they must rely on their individual retirement accounts.
Financial planners can be helpful to those with 403(b) plans by guiding them through their rights and advantages.
Reference: New York Times (Oct. 21, 2016) "Think Your Retirement Plan Is Bad? Talk to a Teacher."