Many state legislatures have been meeting for a month now. We’re already seeing legislation that would impact public pensions in both positive and negative ways. One group that has been actively attacking pensions is the Reason Foundation. Employees of the Reason Foundation have been on the ground in Arizona, Arkansas, and Kentucky, promoting their anti-pension rhetoric. To combat their false claims and misinformation, we thought we’d re-share this post from May 2018.

Be sure to watch our video exposing the Reason Foundation and don’t miss our blog post about the Reason Foundation’s pension reform handbook.


Despite its name, the Reason Foundation cannot be trusted to provide accurate information regarding public pensions. This so-called “think tank” promotes a radical anti-government agenda that is openly hostile to public employees and their retirement security. They have also accepted millions of dollars in funding from John Arnold to promote his anti-pension agenda. Public employees, taxpayers, and policymakers should be suspicious of any “analysis” of public pensions coming from the Reason Foundation.

Reason has become increasingly active in the campaign against public pensions waged by John Arnold and other anti-pension ideologues. They have been involved in Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan attempting to gut pensions for public employees.

  • In Kentucky, Governor Matt Bevin has long sought to make harsh cuts to public pensions. When he was actively promoting extreme anti-pension legislation in autumn 2017, his office relied on two Reason Foundation analyses to argue that there would be no transition costs associated with switching to a defined contribution system.
  • In Iowa, Reason offered to conduct an analysis of the state’s public pensions for the legislature. Their “analysis” will almost certainly call for major changes to IPERS.
  • In South Carolina, Reason has testified before the state legislature in favor of forcing public employees into a 401(k)-style system. They have also hired a lobbyist to represent them in the state.

After having already received more than $3.5 million in funding from John Arnold, Reason recently secured up to $4 million in additional funding to continue their attacks on public pensions.

With so much activity in recent years, we created a video to expose the Reason Foundation and their true motivations.

Watch our new video!

Reason is also connected to another Arnold-funded, anti-pension group, the Retirement Security Initiative. Pete Constant, the CEO of the Retirement Security Initiative, is a former Senior Fellow and Director of the “Pension Integrity Project” at the Reason Foundation.

Help us fight back against the attacks on public pensions by John Arnold and the Reason Foundation. Sign our petition and demand the Reason Foundation reject Arnold’s money and work to promote a secure retirement for teachers, firefighters, nurses, librarians, and other public employees.