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:
Judge Shepherd expresses doubts about withholding pension plan analysis by Tom Loftus: Readers of Defined Benefit might remember that the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition’s coordinator was sued last year by the Governor’s Administration after she filed a FOIA to see the analysis conducted for Senate Bill 1. That case is still being fought out in court as the administration argues that it should not be seen by the public. This week, during a hearing on the matter, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd expressed doubts about the administration’s arguments for not releasing the study. That being said, Shepherd did not rule in the case, giving the administration two more weeks to file additional arguments.
Lawmakers just passed pension relief…or a ‘path to insolvency.’ It depends on whom you ask by Josh James: This week, we wrote about the terrible pension bill passed by the Kentucky legislature, HB358. Buried in the bill, along with other harmful measures, is a catch all: if an affected agency or regional university finds itself more than 30 days late on a payment, the system could cut benefits for employees who have already retired. Jason Bailey, Executive Director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, stated correctly, “If you’re an 85-year-old woman receiving a retirement benefit, it could literally have it frozen because your former employer is not paying on liability. That’s not fair to those folks living on a fixed income who are counting on those benefits. It’s also not legal.”
House wants to study converting state employee retirement plan to ‘defined contribution’ by Dave Thompson: The North Dakota House of Representatives is currently pushing several bills, which include reducing the multiplier from 2 to 1.75, ends the health credit, and increases employee and employer contribution rates to the retirement plan by 1 percent per year. Additionally, the House Appropriations Committee added a study that measure which looks into moving future employees into a defined contribution plan. As we’ve written about time and time again, moving newly hired employees into a less secure and unreliable defined contribution plan will not only hurt retirees’ security in retirement, it will also hurt the pension system as a whole.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!