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.

Steve Connolly: Concerned state retirement system investments are at risk by Steven Connolly. In this letter to the editor, New Hampshire resident Steven Connolly expresses his concerns about the New Hampshire Retirement System’s financial performance. Apprehension over the pension system’s health comes as no surprise, considering the recent reports from pension opponents. However, as we have covered before, opponents use large figures such as a pension system’s unfunded liability to scare taxpayers and skew public understanding. Yet, even The Center Square reported that New Hampshire’s pension funds are in great shape, a good sign of appropriate funding discipline by lawmakers and fund managers.

Public pension ends with losses in pension and insurance assets by Tom Latek. So far, 2022 has been a tough year for everyone’s wallets. The stock market experienced historic lows in the year’s first half, and inflation reached an all-time high of 9.1% in June. Yet while public pension portfolios managed by the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority (KPPA) were not immune to the volatile market conditions, they did outperform their benchmark and most of their peers. This bodes well for public-sector retirees and the Kentucky state economy, with a $5.7 billion economic impact of pension dollars. 

Despite recent additions, local police departments facing hiring, retention challenges by Jane Bellmyer. Like many cities and municipalities across the country, the police department in Rising Sun, Maryland is facing a staffing shortage. While a number of factors play into the inability to keep their department fully staffed, such as poor public sentiment, and non-competitive pay, lack of a defined-benefit pension plan has also negatively affected their ability to recruit new officers. In nearby Perryville, Chief of Police Robert Nitz expressed his concern over the lack of what he called a “true retirement plan,” saying, “We have a 457B, the town matches 3% of the contribution. Not having that pension is a detraction to attracting good candidates.” Defined-benefit pensions are a valuable recruitment and retention tool and have been proven effective in staffing police departments. 

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