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:

  • Bond rating agencies give Minnesota top marks by Jessie Van Berkel: the credit ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s have both given the state of Minnesota their top credit rating, AAA. This is due, in part, to the unanimous passage of pension legislation this year that will shore up the system’s financing and protect pensions for public employees. The pension legislation was widely acknowledged as a responsible move that benefits taxpayers, public employees, and retirees.
  • Teachers to mount insurgency at Kentucky’s campaign kickoff by Adam Beam: teachers in Kentucky are planning a large protest this week at Fancy Farm, a traditional Kentucky political event that marks the start of the general election campaign in the state. This spring teachers held massive protests at the state capitol in response to the stinking, pension-gutting bill that was rushed through the legislature in eight hours. The teachers plan to keep the pressure on state legislative candidates through the election in November.
  • People have peculiar ideas about PERA by Terri Helm: a reader writes to The Journal in Colorado about PERA, the state’s public pension system. The reader expresses her amazement about the lack of understanding of how PERA works. She also warns readers about the dangers of forcing public employees into 401(k)-style plans.
  • As changes loom over retired teachers’ pensions, retirees look to Legislature for more money by Sydney Greene: the board of the Texas Teachers Retirement System voted last week to lower the assumed rate of return on investments for the plan. This means the state legislature will need to contribute more to the plan in order to avoid benefit cuts. According to The Texas Tribune, “Among states that only pay into a pension plan, and not Social Security, for retirees, Texas is dead last in teacher retirement funding — and puts little more than the required minimum into the fund.”

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