Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Pensions! 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 the top stories from this week: 

Local teachers rally to oppose being ‘bullied’ by Bevin by Aaron Mudd. Mudd writes about a group of retired teachers in Bowling Green, Kentucky who rallied to oppose Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and his attempts to slash earned pension benefits for teachers across Kentucky. Last year the Kentucky legislature passed SB151, a bill intended for wastewater treatment, and inserted anti-pension language that would have put all newly hired teachers into a cash balance retirement system. The bill passed into law with the governor’s support but was eventually declared unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court. Among those who rallied was retired teacher Dave Strode, who retired from a 27-year teaching career last year and said that “teachers are tired of being ‘bullied’ and ‘belittled.’”

New Research Examines Funded Ratio of State & Local Public Pension Plans by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence. The Center for State and Local Government Excellence and the Boston College Center for Retirement Research released a report earlier this month which found that the funded ratio for public pension plans “edged up slightly to 73 percent in fiscal year 2018” and that the “ liability growth for the pension plans slowed dramatically from 2001 to 2018.” The report also stated that “if plan sponsors want to improve plan funded ratios, a key challenge is to increase their asset base through contributions.”

Colorado teachers strikes reflect long funding shortfalls, feelings of disrespect by Meg Wingerter. Wingerter covers Colorado’s third teacher strike in less than two years in this article for the Denver Post. In the article, Wingerter interviewed Timothy Brown, a music teacher at Denver Public Schools’ Lincoln Elementary and Denison Montessori School, who said “the feeling of disrespect is increased because wages haven’t kept pace with the cost of living, and teachers are having to contribute more toward their health insurance and pension programs.” 

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