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:

  • Get your facts straight on PERS by Edith Rusch: While many anti-pension ideologues attacked Oregon PERS, including failed gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler, Edith Rusch reminds readers that PERS is in good shape. PERS has a funded ratio of 80.1 percent, which is well above the average of 74.6 percent nationally. Rusch correctly states that switching newly hired public employees to a defined contribution plan like a 401(k) is the wrong move because “administrative costs are nearly twice that of defined benefit plans.”
  • Public Employees Retirement System shows nearly an 8 percent return on investments by O. Kay Henderson: Last week, the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System (IPERS) completed their annual financial review with some good news – an 8 percent return on investments. In 2016, IPERS lowered their discount rate, or expected return on investment to 7 percent. With these gains, IPERS continues to be in great shape. Henderson states, “In total, about 360,000 public employees who are retired or still working are IPERS members.”
  • Don’t begrudge pensions for public employees by Jed Somit: Opponents of pensions are not just here on the mainland, they push their agendas in Hawaii as well. Somit states that there are several anti-pension think tanks and “grassroots organizations” looking to end not only pensions, but also many public services. He reminds readers that “government salaries are already less than private sector pay for similar jobs and qualifications,” which is true. In a call to action, Somit encourages all Hawaiians to stand up to these think tanks and support Hawaii’s hard-working public employees.

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