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:

  • New Kentucky Pension Bill Surfaces, Would Affect Future Teachers by Ryland Barton: another year, another legislative session, another bill affecting public pensions in Kentucky. This week, legislation was filed that would create a new defined benefit plan for teachers, effective January 1, 2020. The new bill would actually create two separate defined benefit plans that teachers would participate in and would prevent the state from accruing any future unfunded liability in the new plans. Groups representing teachers and other educators are still taking stock of the new legislation, but Republican legislators finally seem to be learning that the defined benefit model is best and that attempts to force teachers into cash balance or 401(k)-style plans will fail.
  • Lawmakers to consider raising public pension by Janelle Stecklein: public employees and retirees in Oklahoma are fighting for legislation this year that would grant a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to retired public employees. It’s been more than a decade since retired public employees in the Sooner State received a COLA. Sabra Tucker, executive director of the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association, said a COLA “is long overdue. Of course, it’s senior citizens that use the bulk of the health care. Their buying power has been decreased significantly.”
  • Governor creates task force to study pension issues by Dan Boyd: the governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has created a task force composed of PERA officials, labor union leaders, retiree representatives and others to propose ways to improve the funding of the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). During last year’s campaign, the governor said she would oppose any benefit cuts to PERA. “My expectation is we will assume this shared burden in an equitable fashion to reach our solvency goals, and this group will, I am certain, assure a steady future for PERA,” the governor said.

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