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:
- Kansas school teachers deserve retirement security by Dwight Goodman: as we wrote about in yesterday’s blog post, public pensions in Kansas are threatened as politicians in state look for ways to fill massive holes in the state budget. A Wichita teacher discusses why his pension matters to him and why it is so important that the state legislature raise revenue and fix the budget so his pension will be protected.
- Counterpoint: Another blow to teachers coming? by R. Mark Moore: continuing on this theme, a retired teacher in North Carolina warns against a proposal by a few state legislators to close the Tar Heel State’s very successful pension plan and force new teachers into unreliable and risky 401(k)-style plans. He asks: “I wonder, if our legislators continue to dismantle any possible benefit of becoming a teacher, who will be left to teach?”
- Don’t weaken teacher pensions by John Havlicek: yet another teacher this week writes to warn about attacks on public pensions in his state. In this case, Havlicek writes about the efforts of State Sen. Stroebel in Wisconsin to raise the retirement age and reduce the pension benefit for public employees there. This would be a serious mistake because the Wisconsin Retirement System is one of the best public pension systems in the country. It is fully funded and delivers solid retirement security to hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites.
- Labor Voices: Focus on roads, not pensions by Steve Cook: sticking with this week’s theme of attacks on teacher pensions, the president of the Michigan Education Association warns against efforts by Republican leaders in the Michigan legislature to close the pension plan for teachers and school employees. “The bottom line: Closing off new employees to a defined benefit system would cost billions, leave dedicated educators without a secure retirement, and worsen the growing teacher shortage.”
- Trump’s budget calls for hits on federal employee retirement programs by Joe Davidson: finally this week, when he releases his 2018 budget next week, President Trump will propose attacking the retirement security of federal employees. His proposal would force federal workers to pay more out-of-pocket for their pensions, while also cutting their pension benefits. The average federal employee would lose roughly $5,000 per year in take-home pay due to these changes.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!