Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Pensions! As always, we have gathered the best stories about pensions and retirement security from the last week. This is the news you need to know in the fight for a dignified retirement.

Here are this week’s top stories:

  • WRS transition gets OK from Sun Prairie alders by Jennifer Fetterly: Beginning in January 2017, city employees in Sun Prairie, WI, will be able to earn a defined benefit pension through WRS thanks to a recent law that expanded access to pensions in Wisconsin.
  • Our Legislature is bankrupting Pennsylvania by Sen. Art Haywood: State Senator Art Haywood argues that Pennsylvania needs to accept Governor Wolf’s tax proposal in order to properly fund public schools and other government services. He also points out that attempts to gut public pensions will do nothing to help the state’s budget crisis since the state is obligated to pay the pension benefits that have already been earned by workers.
  • Democratic Puerto Rico Debt Bills Give Pensions Preference by Steven Dennis: Several U.S. senators introduced legislation this week to address Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. Among other things, the legislation would mark Puerto Rico’s public pensions as “senior secured debt”, which would protect pensioners in negotiations over how to resolve the debt crisis.
  • ‘Hamilton’ Star Joins Democrats Seeking Help for Puerto Rico by Michelle Kaske: Continuing with the Puerto Rico debt crisis, Lin-Manuel Miranda- the creator and star of the successful musical “Hamilton”- joined with U.S. senators to urge support for legislation allowing Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy and restructure its debt.
  • The Political Economy of Argentina’s Settlement With the Vulture Funds by Mark Weisbrot: Many of the same vulture hedge funds currently preying on Puerto Rico and its debt crisis were also involved in Argentina and its debt crisis. Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research details how the vulture hedge funds use their power to extract massive payments from distressed governments.