Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Pensions! This is the news you need to know in the fight for a secure retirement. We have gathered the top stories about pensions and retirement security from the previous week.
Have you seen our most recent blog, Unmasking the Puppeteers: How Anti-Pension Billionaires Pull the Strings?
Read our latest blog revealing which Fortune 100 financial services organizations to look out for and the secret motives driving their crusade to undermine retirement security and harm public employees.
Defined Benefit Pensions, which provide retirees with lifetime income, are becoming increasingly rare in the United States. According to the Federal Reserve, Only 22% of adults had access to a pension in 2021. Read this piece from Forbes to learn more about a defined benefit pension, how it compares to other retirement plans and its advantages.
The Anchorage School District is facing a surge in teacher resignations and retirements. This trend has been ongoing since the state’s pension systems closed in 2005 and has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to school district data, approximately 416 out of nearly 3,000 teachers resigned by the conclusion of the 2021-22 academic year. In addition, at least 352 teachers have already quit this year, with an anticipation of more departures during the summer season.
The exits are due to many factors, including inadequate retirement benefits, stagnant state funding, and burnout. Unlike Alaska, Oregon and Washington offer better compensation and retirement benefits, which the Land of the Midnight Sun struggles to compete with. Anchorage schools superintendent Jharrett Bryantt said, “We’re on track to have one of the most inexperienced and unstable teacher workforces in the country unless we take action.” To retain experienced, qualified teachers and maintain a stable workforce, Alaska must improve retirement options to compete with neighboring states.
Georgia is proof that retirement benefits matter. Despite the significant pay raises for first responders in the state, recruitment, and retention problems persist. Now the state’s lawmakers are considering creating a new pension system to address staffing issues in law enforcement. The proposed House Bill 824, introduced by Rep. John Carson, would offer a pension worth 80% of an officer’s final pay after 25 years of service. The intention is to emulate a similar Florida plan that has helped retain law enforcement employees. A financial study of the proposal has been requested before it can be further considered in the 2021 session. Read more here.
First responders in New Hampshire are urging the state legislature to restore pension benefits for approximately 1,800 police and firefighters, including police and firefighters. The proposed changes–attached to a House-passed state budget bill–aim to reverse the benefit cut implemented in 2012. Without the change, first responders have said they will have more vacancies in their depleted ranks. According to Portsmouth Fire Department Captain and President of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, Brian Ryll, the yearly number of recruits taking the firefighter exam has fallen from a high of 548 in 2009 to just over 200. Restoring benefits would reduce the retirement age from 50 to 45 after 20 years of service. Because the reduction in benefits has made attracting recruits to the profession challenging, supporters argue that these changes are crucial for retaining experienced first responders.
Be sure to check back next Friday for the latest in the fight for a secure retirement! For now, sign up for NPPC News Clips to receive daily pension news from across the country directly to your inbox.