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

  • America’s retirees worked hard. Washington must protect them by James Casey: writing in The Hill, Casey warns about the dangers of “stripping” or “de-risking” private sector pension plans. While not a threat to public sector pension plans, this practice undermines pensions and endangers the retirement security of millions of Americans. Private sector pensions have been under attack for decades. Pension stripping is just the latest in a long series of attacks on the retirement security of working families.
  • City’s move to 401(k) pensions is big mistake as Palm Beach showed by Kimberlie Ryals: the CEO of the Florida Public Pension Trustees Association warns of the dangers of closing a pension plan and forcing new workers into a 401(k)-style plan. Jacksonville, FL, is preparing to close its defined benefit plan for police officers and firefighters and place all future hires in a risky 401(k)-style plan. The experience of other Florida cities, such as Palm Beach, shows that this is a mistake.
  • Ohio’s Police & Fire Pension is healthy by John Gallagher: the executive director of the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund rebuts the flawed and biased arguments of a recent op-ed attacking public pensions for Ohio’s public safety officers. Gallagher points out that the op-ed relies on “a flawed report that used unfounded and unrealistic assumptions to come to a pre-determined conclusion.”
  • How We Got Out of a 401(k) and into a Real Pension by James Russell: Russell documents the success of a grassroots movement among state employees in Connecticut that enabled them to switch from their risky and inadequate 401(k) plan into the more secure public pension plan. He also offers some ideas on how other public employees could replicate their success.
  • Treasurer: My concern grows for IPERS members by Michael Fitzgerald: the Iowa State Treasurer defends Iowa’s public pension system. For months now, politicians in Iowa have threatened to attack Iowa’s public pensions and force new employees into a less secure 401(k)-style plan. Treasurer Fitzgerald points out that this would be a mistake because IPERS is strong and provides a secure retirement for Iowa’s working families.

We’ll be taking a week off next week, but be sure to check back on March 10th for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!