Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Pensions! As we do most weeks, 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:

  • Pension Leaders Question if NJ Should Do More to Shore Up System by John Reitmeyer: it’s well-known that New Jersey’s public pensions are poorly funded. Governor Chris Christie has only made that situation worse by deliberately skipping payments and violating his own pension law. However, New Jersey legislators recently passed a law requiring quarterly payments to the pension fund that Christie is expected to sign. Now, leaders of the state investment council are looking at other ways to improve funding of the pension systems in the state.
  • Editorial: Go easy in lame duck by The Detroit News editorial board: some ideologically motivated members of the Michigan state senate are trying to rush through an attack on teacher pensions during the lame duck session. This would be devastating for the retirement security of Michigan’s public school teachers and would dramatically increase costs for Michigan taxpayers. The Detroit News is right to encourage them to avoid this harmful legislation during the lame duck session.
  • Are Public Pension Benefits Excessive? State Workers Say ‘No’ by Capital Public Radio: despite the myth of the wealthy pensioner living a life of luxury with a six-figure annual benefit, most California public retirees earn a much more modest pension benefit. This story profiles three public employees whose retirement prospects reflect the reality for most workers.
  • Editorial: Nebraska pension plans well managed by Omaha World-Herald editorial board: a recent actuarial report found that Nebraska’s three public pension plans are all well-funded, well-managed, and positioned to offer a secure retirement for public employees. Nebraska deserves recognition for its responsible management of its public pensions and more states should follow its example.
  • NIRS report: PPA didn’t really work as planned by Hazel Bradford: this week the National Institute on Retirement Security released a new report that finds the Pension Protection Act of 2006 actually hurt pensions and contributed to a decrease in the number of private-sector pension plans over the past decade. Even provisions in the PPA to improve defined contribution plans have failed as the number of households with a retirement account declined from 2007 to 2013.

Also this week, don’t miss our blog post on what President-elect Trump might do about the retirement savings crisis. Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!