The future of Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, or IPERS, continues to be in the news and as chairwoman of the joint House-Senate Public Retirement Systems Committee, I’d like to put to rest any concerns or fears about rumored changes during this year’s legislative session.
IPERS members and other public pension beneficiaries have nothing to worry about. There will be no changes to IPERS or any other Iowa pension systems in the upcoming session.
Over the last several decades, thousands of Iowans have counted on the IPERS for their retirement security once they’ve left public service. They spent years contributing to the system and have earned their pensions.
Every other year, the Public Retirement Systems Committee is required by law to meet and review our state’s various pension systems to ensure their solvency. This includes IPERS as well as the pension systems for state troopers, the judicial branch, and local police and firefighters.
In order to keep our promise to retirees, we need to make sure that IPERS is stable and properly funded. These comprehensive reviews ensure that legislators have the relevant information and data in order to provide the needed oversight for plan members.
My takeaway was similar to previous years: It’s clear that IPERS is well-managed and remains one of the most sound pension systems in the entire country. Changes are unnecessary.
The only people talking about making dramatic changes to IPERS are Democrats who need a campaign issue to run on. The fear mongering tactics they are using to scare retirees who depend on IPERS are disgusting. Even more disgusting is using this scare tactic to raise campaign funds. Iowans should expect better from their elected leaders.
Dawn Pettengill, a Republican, represents Mount Auburn in Iowa House.