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

Here are this week’s top stories:

  • Big Gains for Teachers’ Retirement Funds by Alex Aubuchon: the teachers’ pension fund in Alabama achieved investment earnings of more than 10 percent in the most recent fiscal year. This is good news for public school employees there and continues a trend of funding levels for pension systems improving as the economy recovers from the financial crisis.
  • Changing IPERS will increase teacher shortage by Dean Lamp: a concerned reader writes to the Des Moines Register that a possible move to close Iowa’s public pension system would exacerbate a teacher shortage in the state. We reached a similar conclusion about pensions and a teacher shortage in Oklahoma in a report released earlier this year.
  • Amid backlash, Michigan GOP shelves health, pension cuts by Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray: working people in Michigan fought back and stopped an effort to gut pensions for teachers. Unfortunately, anti-pension legislators plan to introduce the same legislation next year. Michigan workers need to remain vigilant.
  • How part-time work hurts U.S. workers’ retirement security by Mark Miller: the number of Americans employed in part-time work has increased since the Great Recession. This has harmed the retirement security of these workers since part-time employees are less likely to have access to a workplace retirement plan. Part-time workers are also less likely to participate in a retirement plan, even if offered one.
  • How to Kill the Middle Class by Alana Semuels: writing in the Atlantic, Semuels discusses the repercussions of Act 10 in Wisconsin and the harm it has done to the middle class there. She worries that increased Republican control in Washington and in some state capitals will mean more attacks on unions, pension benefits, and other policies that support a strong middle class.

Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!