Welcome to 2020’s first 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: 

Kentucky Analysis Dispels Myth of 401k(s) as Pension Saviors by Michael Katz. Katz writes for Chief Investment Officer about Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear releasing the financial analysis of former Governor Matt Bevin’s 2017 pension proposal which Bevin commissioned and kept hidden from the public. The analysis found that former Gov. Bevin’s proposal to move new employees of the Kentucky Retirement System into a defined contribution plan would have been more expensive for the state than sticking with the original defined benefit plan and would have reduced benefits for employees. 

Here’s the brief version of the top ten open government stories of 2019 by Amye Bensenhaver. Speaking of former Gov. Bevin’s 2017 pension proposal… in this article for Kentucky Forward, Bensenhaver covers Kentucky’s top ten open government stories of the year. Top on her list is current Gov. Beshear releasing the actuarial analysis of the controversial 2017 proposal to overhaul the Kentucky Retirement System. Ellen Suetholz, the coordinator for the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition, attempted to file a Freedom of Information Act to see it in 2017 and was subsequently sued. You can read her story here

Pension Cuts May Pose Special Risks for Public Workers Not Covered by Social Security by Bill Lucia. In this article for Route Fifty, Lucia writes about how millions of state and local employees who are not covered by Social Security face special risks with financial security in retirement. According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, “about one-quarter of all state and local government employees, or around 5 million people, were working in positions that were not covered by Social Security.” Lucia also highlights that “under federal law, state and local employees who are not covered by Social Security need to be enrolled in an employer-sponsored pension plan that provides at least equal benefits. But the Center for Retirement Research, in a 2018 report, raised doubts about whether plans are meeting this standard after accounting for factors like long ‘vesting periods,’ which determine when a person is eligible for benefits, as well as limited cost-of-living adjustments.” 

Best of 2019: Connecticut is far from being ‘a sea of dysfunction’ by Sean Goldrick. The Connecticut Mirror named Sean Goldrick’s editorial on the state of Connecticut’s government as one of the best editorials of 2019, and it’s easy to see why. Goldrick highlights the state’s achievements in its pension system, writing that Governors Dannel Malloy & Ned Lamont “have now fully funded the state’s required contributions to its teacher and state worker pension funds for the past decade” and that “Governor Lamont just signed into law major reforms in the state’s teachers pension fund that stabilize pension contributions that were facing dramatic increases.” 

Additionally, on New Year’s Day, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle published Verna Kay Garcia’s op-ed on why public employees in Wyoming deserve a cost-of-living adjustment. This piece previously ran in the Casper Star-Tribune on December 6. 

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