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.

 Before you dive into our top stories from this week, make sure you check out stories of public employees helping their communities.

 Here are our top stories:

State workers help us all. It’s past time to help them, too by Dustin Pugel. In his op-ed for the Courier Journal, Dustin Pugel, policy director at the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, highlights several issues causing the exodus of the public workers in the state . For over a decade, public sector workers have felt overworked and underpaid. Some have had their retirement benefits cut, which serves as the public sector’s primary retention tool. As a result of these issues and budget cuts, Kentucky lost 15,000 jobs in the past three decades, while the state’s population has grown by more than 800,000. Because of the tight labor market, employees seek better-paying jobs elsewhere, leading to a crisis-level shortage of employees in Kentucky’s state government. Because many public servants make less than those working in the private sector, offering pensions that provide a life-long benefit for security after retirement is essential. 

‘Never seen it this bad’: America faces catastrophic teacher shortage by Hannah Natanson. The Washington Post reported that America’s teacher shortage “has hit crisis levels.” While the lack of educators predates the Covid-19 pandemic, its economic impact and pre-existing workforce issues caused widespread burnout amongst public employees, especially educators. Now, many school districts around the country are scrambling to find solutions so someone is there to teach children when they return to school. Rural school districts in Texas are forced to cut the school week short a day due to the lack of staff. Florida is seeking the help of veterans with no teaching background to teach, while Arizona is soliciting the help of college students. Some school districts like Nevada’s Clark County are raising teachers’ salaries and offering relocation bonuses to incentivize educators. One way to address the shortage– pensions. A report released earlier this year by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) found that 73% of participants would leave their job if their pensions were cut. Eighty-six percent of participants believe that a “more generous” pension would help recruit and retain teachers.

Top 5 financial challenges for women and how to overcome them by Michelle Francis. In this article for Trainers Adda, Francis points out the many unique challenges women face, making them more susceptible to financial insecurity in retirement than men. Apart from the fact that women earn less than men–77.9 cents for every man’s dollar, they also experienced more interrupted work than men due to raising children or performing caregiving duties. This results in fewer retirement savings contributions from themselves and their employers. As NPPC has covered before, pension provides women with income security in retirement by providing guaranteed income.

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