Letter: Privatizing retirement funds a concern

Last year the Iowa Legislature “tweaked” Chapter 20 by destroying it and assaulting the working conditions of over 180,000 workers and impacting their spouses and children. This was done in a shameful fashion mostly behind closed doors and without bipartisan input. It would appear lawmakers plan to continue the assault this year with Senate File 45 in consultation with the Reason Foundation.

The Reason Foundation is a Koch brothers supported organization which operates the Privatization Center. Founded in 1992, the Privatization Center provides information to local policymakers and argues for the privatization of government services. The organization publishes an annual report on its progress.

Sen. Charles Schneider, who is heading the interim study committee on S.F. 45 in consultation with the Reason Foundation, says there should be no concerns at this point. But, the bill states it is “an act providing for the development of a mandatory defined contribution pension plan for certain public employees.” In other words, privatizing IPERS. If there are to be no worries with this action, there should be no concerns with how Medicaid was privatized, nor how Chapter 20 was “tweaked” behind closed doors and then celebrated with a private signing with the governor and a Koch representative last year.

Perhaps the snow plow operators, prisons guards, child abuse investigators and teachers should be asked if they are concerned about their retirement funds. And this is what we call representative government today.

Joseph Fleming



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