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Retirement-for-all advocacy group hosts symposium; discusses issues concerning public pension systems

  • By: admin
  • On: 11/15/2017 11:51:58
  • In: News
  • Comments: 0
Texans for a Secure Retirement held its Fourth Annual Symposium Oct. 18 in Austin. The program highlighted issues concerning the state's public pension systems.
“Right now there's a lot of flak in the air about defined benefit pension systems,” TSR Board Chair Louis Malfaro said during the event.

 

Staff Report

The TSR is a nonprofit retirement advocacy group made up of public employees and retirees. Malfaro told TSR members attending the symposium that it is up to them to educate the public, beneficiaries and state policymakers about pension issues and to serve as watchdogs of bad practices that undermine system plans.

That includes beneficiaries that “game the system” by contributing to the negative feelings the public has about pensions and hurting those that worked all their lives for an honest and dignified retirement. Most public pension beneficiaries do not and will not be pulling in million-dollar pensions when they retire. 

The TSR doesn't just promote public pension plans. The group also advocates for secure retirements for private-sector employees.

During the symposium's Retirement for All panel, it was emphasized that not enough Texans have access to retirement plans through their work. According to the panel, there are significant retirement security problems in the state. To highlight the issue, the average retirement savings account balance of Texas private sector workers is only $32,028. Also, one in three Texans older than 65 rely on Social Security as their only source of income.

To try and help more people save for retirement, several states are establishing retirement funds for employees who do not have retirement options where they work. These plans are commonly referred to as "Secure Choice.” Laura Rosen with the Center for Public Policy Priorities showed one analysis that estimates a state-administered retirement program would save the state $55 million in Medicaid spending over a 5-year period.

Max Patterson, TEXPERS' executive director, also serves as president of the TSR board of directors. He attended the symposium and provided opening and closing remarks.

Click here to watch videos from the symposium. 

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