Source: National Public Pension Coalition

In the years following the Great Recession of 2007-2009, billionaire-backed opponents of defined-benefit pensions presented a reasonably straightforward case. The financial crisis sent equities tumbling, funding ratios of pension plans cratered, and it was easy for opponents of public employees to spread doom and gloom about pension plans. To make matters worse, pension opponents often deliberately sowed envy among non-pension recipients. At the NPPC, we believe everyone deserves a stable retirement. It’s a false choice to pit one group of workers against another. In a race to the bottom, we all lose.

Today, the environment for pensions has improved dramatically. Signs point to more employers offering pensions, not fewer. When IBM announced it would switch back to a pension and stop contributing to employee 401(k) accounts, the New York Times noted, “IBM seems to be reversing a decades-long trend of corporations moving away from traditional pension plans.”

This week, Business Insider reported that “government jobs are hot right now.” The article cites pensions and the superior benefits often associated with public sector jobs as being a major reason many workers are proactively seeking out employment with government agencies.

“According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees working in government jobs stay longer than those working private-sector gigs– with the median years of tenure for public sector jobs in 2022 being 6.8 years– about 2.7 years higher than private sector jobs. Pensions facilitate longer tenures because workers are incentivized to stay to become fully vested and receive the maximum benefit. This also saves on public dollars invested in training and recruitment.

Read the full article