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:
Why is the legislature meeting in the middle of summer? And other special session questions by John Cheves. As expected, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has moved ahead with his plans for a special session of the legislature. Beginning today, the legislature is very limited in what they can debate and propose due to the stringent guidelines provided by the governor. The governor’s legislation, HB1, is not a good solution for the struggling quasi-state agencies, such as rape crisis centers, that will see their pension contributions double shortly. In his article, Cheves points out that Kentucky Public Pension Coalition, NPPC’s in-state coalition, calls “the governor’s plan illegal for breaking the ‘inviolable contract’ that guarantees certain benefits, like pensions, to public employees.” To keep up with what’s going on in Kentucky, be sure to follow KPPC on Facebook. Also, for a historical guide as to how Kentucky lawmakers put the state in this position, check out this blog post.
Business group moves forward on pension reform ballot measures by Ted Sickinger. Two new possible ballot measures threaten the stability of the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). This week, a business-aligned group called PERS Solutions for Public Services submitted the necessary 1,000 signatures to start the process of getting two ballot initiatives in front of voters. The initiatives are controversial and include the possibility of closing off the pension system to newly hired public employees. The first proposal would allow newly hired public employees to choose between a defined contribution 401(k) or the state’s pension plan. The second would launch a feasibility study to see if the state should move all newly hired public employees to a defined contribution 401(k). The group now must be granted language approval for the initiatives, then they must collect 112,020 signatures for each initiative. The deadline for signatures to qualify for the 2020 ballot is July 2020.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!