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:

  • State must honor its pension obligations by Dion Henry: a public employee in Kentucky argues that the state must not cut pension benefits for current employees and should not close the pension plan to future hires. Kentucky’s public pensions are modest, but provide a secure retirement for working families.
  • How the U.S. government is making it harder to retire by Irina Ivanova: this week the Trump administration announced that it would end the MyRA program, a starter retirement savings program begun during the Obama administration. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Trump administration has acted to make it harder for Americans to save for retirement.
  • Public pension funds like IPERS are not safer in hands of private companies by Marilynn Wadden: Wadden writes to The Des Moines Register to warn against trusting the advice of anti-pension ideologues like the Reason Foundation’s Anthony Randazzo. Randazzo is currently championing a push to gut Iowa’s public pensions and force public employees into risk 401(k)-style plans.
  • Bevin: Kentucky will do its best to meet pension obligations, but changes must be made by Tom Loftus: Kentucky Gov. Bevin must be feeling pressure from his constituents after his repeated attacks on Kentucky’s public pensions. Bevin took to social media this week to reassure Kentuckians that “we are going to honor our obligations to the absolute extent of our ability.” Only time will tell if Bevin is true to his word or if he continues to push forward his reckless plan to force public employees into inadequate 401(k)-style plans.
  • Funded ratio of U.S. public pension plans seen improving in ’17: report by Stephanie Kelly: 2016 was a down year for the investments of many public pension plans. However, according to the Center for Retirement Research, public pension plans are projected to improve their funded ratio by 3.2 percent in 2017 due to an improving stock market. Evidence of this is already appearing as several public pension funds have reported one year returns that significantly exceeded their assumed rate of return.

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