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:
Amid Worker Shortages, New Research Examines State & Local Employee Views on their Jobs, Pay and Benefits by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS). On Tuesday, NIRS released findings from a new national poll which showed that pensions are a critically important job feature for state and local government employees. 93 percent of state and local government employees said pensions incentivize workers to have long careers in the public sector. Check out our blog from Wednesday on why these findings matter for public employees.
What will retirement look like in 50 years? by Alicia H. Munnell. In a column for MarketWatch, Munnell takes a look back at the past half-century of retirement as a guide for what retirement will look like in the next 50 years. Munnell writes about many factors that have affected retirement security for working people, including the shift of employers offering defined contribution plans like 401(k)s instead of defined benefit plans. For the next 50 years, she identifies the coverage gap as one of the major issues impacting retirement, as only about half of private sector workers have a retirement plan through their employer.
America’s public-sector pension schemes are trillions of dollars short by the Economist. In a report on the state of public pension systems, the Economist cites unfunded liabilities in several states as evidence that pension systems are facing a systemic crisis across the U.S. As we pointed out on our blog last month, however, the unfunded liability “means that at a specific point in time, the pension plan does not have the full amount of money it will need to pay out ALL of the retirement benefits it will owe in the future to ALL of its current and former employees. But the system never needs all that money at one time.” For more information on understanding an unfunded liability, click here.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!