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:
- Census Bureau: Public pension fund assets climb 1.4% in second quarter by Hazel Bradford: some good news this week. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, public pension funds saw an increase in their assets from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2016. Earnings on investments increased and employer and employee contributions were both up.
- Letters: Public pensions are a good investment by Julie Cherry: writing in The Advocate, Cherry celebrates the findings of a recent NIRS report that public pensions generate significant economic activity each year. As she says: “Each dollar invested in a public pension in Louisiana generates $1.34 in economic activity. Who doesn’t want a 34 percent return on their investment?”
- Retirement inequality hitting many hard by Evan Horowitz: the Boston Globe columnist takes a broad look at the retirement security landscape and finds it lacking. He notes that 401(k)s disproportionately favor the wealthy and leave many working families behind. “When pensions ruled the retirement world, they enrolled a more economically and racially diverse group of employees.”
- Counterpoint: In response to “Actuarial overbearing” by Dana Bilyeu: the executive director of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators pushes back on arguments in favor of changing public pension reporting standards. He points out that these arguments are in favor of a standard that is not applicable to public pension plans: “Now there is a contingent within the actuarial community that suggests additional public-sector resources should be spent to have actuaries calculate the liabilities of the plan if it were immediately terminated and sold at a market price, a scenario that is legally impermissible in nearly all jurisdictions.”
- Study Finds Pension, OPEB Costs Manageable for Most Governments by Rebecca Moore: a new study from the Center for Retirement Research finds that for most cities, counties, and states, the costs of public pensions and other post-employment benefits is manageable. As we have noted before, the jurisdictions with large unfunded liabilities are outliers and not representative of pension obligations on the whole.
Also, in case you missed it, we took a look at the vice presidential candidates and their stances on retirement security.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!