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:

  • Retired public workers deserve more support by Richard Rogers: the executive director of the North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees Association writes about the need for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for retired public employees. Rogers writes: “As inflation continues to rise and pensions remain flat, these retirees increasingly compromise their quality of life. And stagnant pensions affect more than the pensioner; they hurt our communities. Pensions are good for state and local economies. Last year, pensions had almost $7 billion in total economic output.”
  • Study: PERA pensions help stabilize local economies by Charles Ashby: a new report by Pacey Economics finds that PERA, Colorado’s public pension system, supports local economies throughout the state. According to the report, spending of pension benefits generated more than $6.5 billion in economic activity last year and helped support more than 35,000 jobs. The study points out that this particularly benefits rural areas of the state. These findings are similar to those of the National Institute for Retirement Security’s Pensionomics report, which we blogged about last week and this week.
  • House panel chairman promises no changes to state pensions by the Associated Press: the chairman of the Iowa House State Government Committee said earlier this week that there would be no changes to IPERS, the statewide pension plan for public employees in Iowa. Public employees, retirees, and their allies have long been suspicious of future attacks on IPERS due to previous statements by politicians, including the governor, that indicated a desire to switch IPERS to a 401(k)-style system. While the statement by Rep. Kaufmann is reassuring, supporters of public pensions in Iowa remain vigilant to ensure their retirement security is protected.
  • Keep defined benefit pensions by Al Mumm: the president of the Nebraska Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund writes to the Omaha World-Herald that cities and states should stick with public pensions. He points out that public pensions generate trillions of dollars in economic activity each year. Furthermore, “401(k) plans were never meant to replace pensions, only to supplement them. Defined benefit pensions have made retirement possible for millions of Americans for many years, and to suggest eliminating them is a horrible disservice to the nation.”

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