Welcome to this month’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:
KPERS retirees say pensions payouts aren’t enough to live on anymore by Korinne Griffith. Retired public employees converged on the Kansas state capitol on Monday to demand the Kansas legislature pass a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which they have not received in 23 years. In this piece for KSNT, Griffith interviewed retired educator Virgil Funk, who has been retired for 22 years and hasn’t seen an increase in his retirement income since then. “I’m getting the same amount of money to the penny that I got in 1998,” Funk said. “We just have to sit a little tighter.” For a recap of the rally, check out our blog from Wednesday featuring other retirees sharing why they need a COLA.
85% Of Millennials Working In State & Local Government Plan To Stick With Their Employer, But Benefit Changes Could Push Them Out The Door by National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS). On Wednesday, NIRS released a new nationwide poll on millennials’ job satisfaction working in state and local government. Of those who were surveyed, 84 percent said they were satisfied with their job. However, if state and local governments were to reduce pension benefits, that would change how they would view their jobs. 84 percent of those surveyed said their pension is the reason they stay in a state and local government job, and 71 percent said they would be more likely to leave their job if their employer cut pension benefits. This survey illustrated the power of pensions in recruiting and retaining millennials in public service; despite knowing they could make a higher salary working in the private sector, the promise of a pension is one reason many millennials are committed to working in state and local government.
Key lawmaker says pension funding a top House priority by Bruce Schreiner. In this article for the Associated Press, Schreiner writes about the beginnings of the Kentucky House’s plan to address pension funding. Last week, Gov. Andy Beshear submitted his proposed budget to the Kentucky legislature, in which the “full actuarially required contribution would be paid to cover the pension costs of the largest plan for state workers and state police, amounting to an additional $120 million through 2022.” House budget committee chairman Steven Rudy was quoted as predicting “that the House will make significant changes to the governor’s spending blueprint” and “that the House is committed to fully funding state pension systems.” We will continue monitoring developments in Kentucky to ensure that the pensions of all public employees in the commonwealth are protected.
Americans should have more than one source of retirement income, experts say—this is how many actually do by Addie Joseph. In this article for CNBC, Joseph writes about a NIRS study from last month that examines how many Americans have all pillars of the “three-legged stool” experts recommend for retirement. The “three-legged stool” consists of Social Security, a defined benefit pension, and individual savings. The study found that just 6.8 percent of retirees participate in all three pillars, leaving many seniors vulnerable to poverty in retirement. We will continue fighting to make sure all public employees have access to defined benefits in retirement.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!