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 is our top story:
Kansas, Missouri teachers quitting mirrors nationwide trend by Zach Perez. Like many states, Kansas and Missouri are experiencing a severe shortage of educators. At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Kansas had more than 1,400 vacancies, while one-quarter of Missouri’s school districts implemented four-day school weeks. Teacher shortages have long been an issue, even before the pandemic. However, the pandemic’s economic impact, coupled with pre-existing problems, caused widespread burnout among public educators. Many states have taken action to temporarily fill positions so that someone is in the classroom to teach. Kansas schools have financially incentivized new and retired educators to join the workforce by offering sign-on bonuses and continued pension benefits in retirement. On the other hand, Missouri provides the second-lowest starting salary for teachers in the country. A Missouri state commission recommended raising teachers’ wages by $13,000 to become more “competitive in attracting new teachers to the state.” As NPPC has covered before, pensions remain the best recruitment and retention tool for public educators. Protecting pension benefits means continuing to ensure educators are in the classroom to teach tomorrow.
Be sure to check back next Friday for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!