Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Pensions! As we always do, we have gathered the best stories about pensions and retirement security from the previous week. This is the news you need to know.
Here are this week’s top stories:
- Retirement system for state workers among strongest in nation by Jason Stein: a new report confirms that the Wisconsin Retirement System is one of the strongest public pension systems in the country.
- No RSA changes this year, lawmakers mixed on what’s next by Mary Sell: public employees in Alabama were fortunate this year and avoided having their pensions gutted by anti-pension legislators. Now, some of those legislators are starting to question the snake oil they’ve been sold:
“I felt like we were just being spoon fed information from the national organizations who are intent on phasing out pension plans across America,” [GOP Rep. Randall] Shedd said Wednesday. He questioned whether all the information received was credible. “I was just disappointed in the entire process,” he said.
- Negative outlook by Patrick Lowry: the Hays Daily News quotes NPPC Executive Director Bailey Childers regarding the Kansas budget crisis and the decision to delay payments into the pension systems there:
“This will be the third time Kansas’ bond ratings have been downgraded since 2012 in part because the state has consistently failed to pay its fair share. … We hope that Gov. Brownback and other politicians will realize the consequences of their failed policies and start investing back into the people of Kansas, which will help put the state’s budget back on the right track.”
- Pension review committee recommendations could save city money on police, fire plan by Nancy Hicks: the pension review committee in Lincoln, NE, unanimously rejected recommendations to switch police officers and firefighters to a defined contribution, 401(k)-style plan. The committee members cited the high cost of switching to a 401(k)-style system as one of their main reasons to oppose it.
- Pension increase for retired state workers, teachers passes by Mark Ballard: finally, good news for retirees in Louisiana: the state legislature passed a cost of living increase for retirees and the governor is expected to sign it. This modest, monthly increase will be especially helpful for retirees in Louisiana because public employees there do not participate in Social Security.
Check back here next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!