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 best stories:

  • Alternative Fact: Americans Have Great Retirement Security by Bailey Childers: NPPC’s Executive Director reveals the real pension crisis in America: not enough people have one. The 401(k) has failed to provide retirement security for working families and expanding access to pensions would help to address the looming retirement crisis.
  • Thank librarians — then fight for their pensions by Rhonda Hymel: in honor of National Library Week, an Oklahoma librarian writes about the importance of pensions to librarians. She concludes with this call to action: “So, during this National Library Week, thank a librarian when you see one, and do all you can to fight for librarians’ retirement security.”
  • Oklahoma Teacher of the Year: Should I stay or should I go? By Shawn Sheehan: the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year spells out the dilemma facing teachers in the Sooner State. Low pay and continuing cuts to education funding are forcing teachers to consider moving to other states like Texas where they can earn a decent living. Our recent report on teacher pensions in Oklahoma found that offering the security of a defined benefit pension is one way to retain quality teachers.
  • Many retirees spend retirement lump sums too quickly by Marlene Satter: a new study from MetLife reveals a major problem in retirement planning: workers who take a lump sum payment upon reaching retirement often spend all of the money within a few years, leaving them with nothing for the rest of their retirement. Unlike 401(k)s, this is one of the major strengths of defined benefit pensions: a guaranteed, monthly retirement income for life.
  • High Fund Fees, Waste Cost 401(k) Participants $17B Annually by Christopher Robbins: continuing with the problems with 401(k) plans, another recent report found that Americans lose $17 billion per year through high fees in their retirement plans. Most Americans are not investment professionals and end up investing in high fee, low return financial products that eat away at their retirement nest egg, leaving them with much less than they were expecting.

We’ll be off next week, but be sure to check back in the weeks ahead for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!