Keep up on potential Iowa retirement changes

Every worker deserves a secure retirement. That includes the hundreds of thousands of Iowans who contribute part of each paycheck to one of Iowa?s public retirement systems.

Our public retirement systems are well managed and fiscally sound. The Iowa Public Employee Retirement System, for example, has shown strong returns for the last year (with a significant increase over the year before) and is doing well in the long term. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says major changes could jeopardize the retirements of Iowans who spent their careers contributing to a pension they?re counting on.

Iowans whose families depend on one of our public retirement funds have become rightfully concerned in recent months that their pensions could be at risk. Here are three reasons why:

1. As soon as she became Governor, Kim Reynolds said making changes to IPERS was one of her top priorities.

2. Legislation to end IPERS, Senate File 45, could be debated this January. In recent months, an out-of-state think tank (the so-called Reason Foundation) has come to Iowa to argue against IPERS.

3. The 2017 session repeatedly saw extreme legislation approved without meaningful public input. The same rushed process could quickly eliminate IPERS. It?s happened in other states.

I want to make sure Iowa?s public employees know what they can do to protect their retirements and their families. Sign up for Public Retirement Alerts at www.senate.iowa.gov/democrats. You will get the information you need to take action and maintain our state?s widely respected, fiscally sound public retirement systems.

Changes to IPERS or any of Iowa?s public retirement programs must be approved by the Legislature. I will not support proposals that shortchange Iowans on their well-earned pensions. We must keep our promises to workers and retirees.


? Sen. Rich Taylor represents Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties.