This Week in Pensions

This Week in Pensions: May 24, 2024

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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. You need to know this news in the fight for a secure retirement.


As state legislative sessions come to a close, we looked back on some of the critical public pension issues across the country in our newest blog. The conversation surrounding defined-benefit pensions is evolving and opening new doors. Read the blog post today!

Michigan Must Address Pensions to Address Worker Shortages. 

In a commentary piece this week, Nick Ciaramitaro, President of the Coalition for Secure Retirement – Michigan, stated what we know to be true: better benefits help recruit and retain essential public employees. Michigan has experienced a series of cuts to pension access dating back to the late 90s, and as a result, now faces a staggering shortage of workers in sectors such as public safety and education. 

“One of the best ways to address public-employee recruitment and retention issues is to ensure that people are treated fairly, with quality pay and benefit packages,” Ciaramitaro writes. “And the ace that schools and government used to have up their sleeves to incentivize workers was through pension and retiree health-care benefit packages. Restoring those benefits will go a long way toward recruiting and retaining more teachers for our schools and the employees necessary to provide government services like law enforcement and health care that Michiganders rely on every day.”

The Coalition for Secure Retirement – Michigan aims to advance legislation to reintroduce pensions to state and local government employees and educational workers who cannot currently participate in the state’s hybrid pension system.

Alaska Seeks Social Security Changes to Benefit State Retirees.

After the push to restore defined benefit pensions for Alaska’s public employees failed to gain approval from state lawmakers this year, legislators unanimously approved Joint Resolution 18, calling on Congress to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which would affect public employees who also qualify for retirement benefits under Alaska’s public employee pension programs. 

Though Alaska public employees do not pay into Social Security during their service to the state, if they have any earnings outside of public service that are subject to Social Security deductions, the WEP dictates that they will not have access to any SS benefits after retirement. According to the Newsweek report, “it’s estimated that more than 15 percent of all workers nationally affected by the WEP live in the state.” This includes teachers who work extra jobs to supplement their income and other workers who made a career switch from the private to the public sector prior to the closure of the pension system in 2006.

Be sure to check back next Friday for the latest news 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.