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:
Retirees converge on capitol seeking cost-of-living adjustment by Barbara Hoberock and Oklahoma retirees asking for cost of living adjustment for their pensions by Aaron Brillbeck. As many readers of Defined Benefit know, Oklahoma current and retired public employees are fighting for a modest cost of living adjustment for retired public employees, including firefighters, police officers, and teachers. As of the beginning of the month, HB2304, which gives a 4 percent adjustment to retirees monthly benefits, passed the State House of Representatives resoundingly, 98-3. Now, the bill rests with the State Senate. President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, has assigned a senate working group to examine a COLA, but they have until next week to pass the bill.
Texas Senate advances teacher pension bill by Julie Chang. This Monday, the Texas State Senate unanimously approved SB12, which will shore up the state’s pension fund as well as give retired teachers a one-time stipend of up to $500. As Chang indicates, SB12 brings retirees closer to a permanent payment increase because it infuses enough cash from the rainy day fund to make the pension system actuarially sound.
Kentucky lawmakers approve pension relief for universities, public agencies by John Cheves, Jack Brammer, and Daniel Desrochers. Last week, the Kentucky State Senate passed a bill that would drastically hurt the Kentucky Retirement System (KRS) Non-Hazardous plan by freezing current employees future pension benefits and forcing new employees of quasi-government agencies into a defined contribution plan. Last night, the House and Senate passed a “compromise” bill, which freezes the employer contribution rate for one more year, allows quasi-government agencies to leave KRS, but also allows employees hired before 2014 to stay in the plan. All employees hired since 2014 will be moved to a defined contribution plan. This is a violation of the inviolable contract those employees have with the state.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!