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:

  • Retirement: What’s a millennial to do? by Bailey Childers: NPPC’s Executive Director discusses the challenges facing millennial workers when it comes to preparing for retirement. Burdened with high student loan debt and often lacking access to a pension, many millennials will struggle to save for a secure and dignified retirement.
  • Move to 401(k) plans is damaging to national retirement security by Hank Kim: the Executive Director of NCPERS rebuts the arguments of Andrew Biggs about 401(k)s and retirement security. As Kim says, “The truth is that there is a retirement savings crisis, and it is due to a massive shift from traditionally defined benefit (DB) pensions to do-it-yourself 401(k)-type retirement savings schemes.”
  • Wisconsin’s retirement system is a competitive advantage by Barry Burden: a University of Wisconsin professor writes about the value of the state’s pension system, the Wisconsin Retirement System, in attracting and retaining top talent at the university and throughout the state. As we’ve noted before, the WRS is a very strong, comprehensive, and fully funded pension plan.
  • The job ahead by Robert Choromanski: a reader writes in to the Kansas City Star noting that now that Kansas has ended its disastrous tax policy experiment, it can focus on fully funding the state pension system (KPERS). As we have discussed before, the lack of revenue for the state led the governor to skip payments to the pension fund, which harms the long-term future of KPERS.
  • Cutting pension benefits no way to attract needed teachers by William Valenzuela: finally this week, a California teacher discusses the state’s growing teacher shortage and the role that public pensions can play in attracting and retaining quality teachers. We published a report in March examining this very same issue in Oklahoma. Valenzuela concludes with this warning to advocates of pension cuts:

“Every effort must be undertaken to ensure all our kids have the opportunity to learn from a qualified teacher. More young people must be encouraged to consider a teaching profession, and every effort must be made to keep experienced, qualified teachers on the job. To talk about reducing benefits for teachers doesn’t help either cause.”

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