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 employee’s view: 401(k)s not as good as pensions for public employees by Jessica Langhorst: a Minnesota state employee argues for keeping the state’s public pension system because pensions provide a secure retirement. “When I retire, I know I’ll be able to support myself financially because of my pension.”
- Scapegoating frenzy won’t cure pensions by Lexington Herald Leader editorial board: Kentucky Gov. Bevin has been attacking public pensions in his state, as we detailed earlier this week. The editorial board calls him out for his divisive and unhelpful remarks: “…he’ll vilify current workers and retirees to make cutting their benefits acceptable. He’s championed a 401(k)-type system that will strangle pension funds even further, save the state little and leave workers poorer in retirement.”
- New dollars needed to fix Kentucky pensions by Jason Bailey: the executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy argues that Gov. Bevin is wrong to separate tax reform from shoring up the state’s public pensions. Closing the pension plans, as Bevin has proposed, will only make the underfunding worse. Bailey concludes: “For a variety of reasons, Kentucky faces the most challenging fiscal picture in recent memory going into the next budget session. More pain is around the corner unless we take the smart route of generating new revenue.”
- A pension represents a lifetime of hard work by Bob May: beaches don’t clean themselves. May has been a maintenance worker in Ventura County, CA, since 1995 and works hard to keep the county’s famous beaches looking pristine. He takes pride in his work, but also knows that he is earning his paycheck and his pension through his labor. As he says, “Critics conveniently forget that a pension represents a lifetime of hard work.”
- Bevin, teachers are not the disaster. We earned our pensions. Please fix it by Emilie Blanton: a high school English teacher in Kentucky calls on Gov. Bevin to stop attacking teachers and instead find a solution to the broken promises of an underfunded teacher pension system. Kentucky teachers paid into the pension system out of every paycheck, but the state has neglected its obligations. Bevin’s attacks on teachers won’t solve the state’s pension challenges.
- Are 401(k)s Contributing to the ‘Retirement Crisis’? by Kim O’Brien: as the Trump administration seeks to delay the fiduciary rule (read more here), O’Brien lays out the many ways 401(k)s have failed to provide retirement security to working families. Defined benefit pensions remain the gold standard in retirement because they provide a steady stream of income without the risk and high fees associated with 401(k)s.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!