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:

  • Bill to restore police pensions passes Senate Committee by Mark Oliver: as we discussed in yesterday’s blog post, Utah has struggled to fill critical public safety positions after making harmful changes to its pension plan nine years ago. This year, a Utah state senator has introduced legislation to restore the pension plan for police officers and firefighters.
  • CalPERS and other big pension funds are getting more conservative, report says by Wes Venteicher: on Monday, we discussed the findings of the latest NCPERS plan survey, which found that pension plan funding levels continue to improve. The results for the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, largely mirror those of other pension systems that participated in the survey. As with other pension plans, CalPERS has adopted more conservative assumptions about the plan, while continuing to improve its funded status. “CalPERS largely mirrors the survey findings,” said NCPERS executive director, Hank Kim. “I think it’s another indication that they are very much on a sustainable path.”

This week, several news stories discussed possible asset transfers in both Illinois and New Jersey. Both states have severely underfunded pension systems after years of neglect by governors and state legislatures of both parties. It’s debatable whether asset transfers are an appropriate and adequate way to fund public pensions and we at NPPC don’t take a position on that. What is clear in these states and others, such as Connecticut and Kentucky, is that states that failed to make their contributions to pension plans are now considering more unusual funding mechanisms to make up for decades of lost time. States that make their contributions on-time and in-full each year are able to effectively manage their pension plans and provide a secure retirement to their public employees.

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