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:

  • Don’t jeopardize IPERS with ideologically driven changes by Josh Mandelbaum: a Des Moines City Council member talks about the importance of protecting the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS). Some Iowa politicians have proposed switching IPERS to either a hybrid or defined contribution type of plan. Not only would this gut retirement security for public employees, but it would double or even triple unfunded liabilities, increasing costs for taxpayers.
  • Report Advice To Kansas: Be Wary Of Short-Term Good News On Revenues by Stephen Koranda: after passing legislation last year to repeal former Gov. Brownback’s failed, right-wing tax plan, Kansas has been collecting more revenue this year. This has allowed the state legislature to more fully fund its commitments. For example, this year the legislature fully funded its payment to KPERS for the first time in many years. However, a new report warns that tax revenue could decrease if the economy begins to slow. One of the report’s recommendations: use the extra revenue to pay down the unfunded liability of the pension plan.
  • Growth pushes Florida Retirement System above $163 billion in assets by Michael Moline: the Florida Retirement System received a very positive review during the quarterly meeting of the Florida Investment Advisory Council. “The pension plan in the state of Florida is in pretty good shape, being well managed,” said Gary Wendt. “We’re beating all the benchmarks. We’re very happy, very pleased with what’s happening.”
  • Preparing for poverty: America will face a retirement funding crisis by John DeMaggio: writing for The Hill, DeMaggio lays out the big picture overview of the retirement savings crisis. From Social Security to pensions to individual savings, Americans are falling behind in saving enough for a secure retirement. The shift from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution 401(k)s “has increased the risks and responsibilities for individuals in planning and managing their retirement. Yet research shows that many households are ill-equipped for this task.”

Be sure to check back in the weeks ahead for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!