WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Following is the statement of Hank Kim, Esq., Executive Director and Counsel for the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), on the just-released Pew Charitable Trusts Survey Preparing for Retirement:
“After surveying more than 2100 public sector employees from every state and the District of Columbia, the Pew Charitable Trusts discovered what we at the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) and our member public pension plans have always known: the vast majority of state and local public employees are confident that they will have enough money for retirement. Moreover, the vast majority cited their pension plans as an important reason for choosing their job.
“The numbers Pew reports – in a survey conducted by the national market research firm SSRS – show that state and local public employees are far more confident about retirement than Americans as a whole. Fully 69 percent of public employees expressed confidence that they’ll have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, compared to just 55 percent of American workers as a whole.
“The reason for that confidence is simple: public employees are covered by traditional defined benefit pension plans that will give them a predictable, guaranteed income for life. Many private sector workers have no employer-sponsored retirement plan at all. Those who do have 401(k)-style defined contribution plans, whose balances are vulnerable to economic downswings and market fluctuations. They must rely entirely on a fickle mechanism that originally was created to encourage personal savings for retirement in addition to a defined benefit pension, not instead of one.
“A wide range of retirement security experts believes that the key to resolving America’s growing retirement security crisis is to restore defined benefit pensions to the private sector. NCPERS has proposed a model for doing just that – the Secure Choice Pension (SCP) – that is serving as a template for establishing multi-employer private sector retirement plans in several states. The SCP does not cost taxpayers a dime and provides a low-cost, easily administered pension plan that is especially attractive to small business owners. And it would provide a guaranteed, lifetime stream of income to private sector employees covered by SCP plans.
“It is time for more policymakers at all levels of government to make retirement security for all Americans a top priority in the political debate. If they make the right choices for their constituents, perhaps retirement security confidence levels in the private sector will rise to match those in the public sector.”
The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) is the largest trade association for public sector pension funds, representing more than 550 funds throughout the United States and Canada. It is a unique non-profit network of public trustees, administrators, public officials and investment professionals who collectively manage more than $3 trillion in pension assets. Founded in 1941, NCPERS is the principal trade association working to promote and protect pensions by focusing on advocacy, research and education for the benefit of public sector pension stakeholders.