Two Democrats say the upcoming legislative session may threaten retirement benefits for Iowa’s public employees. State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald and State Senator Matt McCoy say there are signs that Republicans want to make major changes to the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) next year.
"Some current legislative proposals to change IPERS, including a bill that was introduced last session, could break the promise we have made toward hardworking Iowans," Fitzgerald says.
McCoy says that bill, which stalled in a subcommittee, would have dismantled the public employees’ retirement system. So this year, he says public employees should watch what Republicans propose.
"They have a history of saying they were going to tweak collective bargaining, and they came in with a bill to absolutely gut collective bargaining, and so trust is a two-way street," McCoy says.
House Republicans counter there is no threat to the retirement system and that they "will not advance any legislation that alters pensions next session."
Republican Sen. Charles Schneider says he doesn’t know if the aforementioned bill, Senate File 45, will be reintroduced, and says he has no plans to advance it. Schneider also says he’s not aware of any plans to make changes to benefits for public employees next session.