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

Here are this week’s top stories:

  • Letter: Most public pension money stays in Illinois by Dick Ingram: the director of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System corrects critics regarding the amount of pension money that stays in Illinois. According to TRS, 83 percent of pension benefits paid each month remains in state, creating $5.6 billion annually in economic activity.
  • Jobs at these 10 companies will literally pay you for life by Janet Guyon: some private companies do still offer defined benefit pensions for their employees. The author takes a look at some of them and discusses the benefits for workers of having a pension.
  • The Legal Conflict at the Heart of U.S. Retirement Plans by Stephen Mihm: as we wrote about this week, several major universities were recently sued by their own employees for failing to uphold their fiduciary duty to reduce excessive fees in their retirement plans. Mihm, a historian, looks back at the history of the 401(k) and ERISA, the law that governs employer-sponsored retirement plans. He discusses the legal ambiguity created by these laws and how that created the situation in which the universities could be sued for failing their fiduciary duty.
  • Chile’s privatized social security system, beloved by U.S. conservatives, is falling apart by Michael Hiltzik: Chile privatized its pension system in 1981 during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The Chilean system has long been held up as a model for American conservatives that dream of privatizing Social Security. However, as Americans are now learning about 401(k)s and their false promise, the Chilean model is not actually delivering on promised results. The president of Chile recently promised reforms “to build a solidarity system that doesn’t leave all responsibilities to the individual and that abandons them when they’re left behind.”

We’ll be taking a week off next week, but be sure to check back on September 2nd for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!