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:
- Public pensions matter — just ask Michigan and West Virginia by Bailey Childers and Tyler Bond: writing in The Hill, Childers and Bond tell the stories of Michigan and West Virginia, both states that closed public pension plans with devastating consequences. West Virginia fixed its mistake and reopened its teacher pension plan, but state employees in Michigan continue to struggle with an inadequate 401(k)-style plan.
- Pension reform wrong for Wisconsin by Claiborne Hill: writing in the Wisconsin State Journal, the state director of the Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security rebuts arguments in favor of raising the retirement age for Wisconsin public employees. The Wisconsin Retirement System is a strong, fully funded pension plan. Messing with it by making unnecessary changes like this would be harmful to the retirement security of Wisconsin’s public servants.
- John Arnold: The Most Hated Man in Pensionland by Liz Farmer: many of you know about John Arnold, the chief funder of anti-pension causes across the nation. Farmer’s recent profile of him leaves out many important details, in particular, the fact that Arnold has not been very successful. Arnold has lost most of his fights against pensions because his proposed “solutions” are wrong for working families.
- Rising Risks for Retirement Savers by the Editorial Board: the New York Times Editorial Board defends so-called “secure choice” plans that help private sector employees save for retirement. These plans are under attack by Congressional Republicans. The Times ed board notes the poor state of retirement preparedness in the U.S.:
“The study also found that even as overall pension wealth held steady, the shift from traditional pensions to 401(k)’s left people worse off in retirement. Traditional pensions guarantee constant monthly payments for life; 401(k)’s can and do run out. In addition, the income generated by 401(k)’s varies with interest rates, which have been very low for very long.”
Be sure to check back in the weeks ahead for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!