I read with some alarm, the recent guest column by Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa warning of the Iowa Republicans courting the Koch-funded Reason Foundation to review Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) with the intent of changing public pensions from a “defined benefit” pension plan to a “defined contribution” (401k) individual retirement plan. This comes after the last legislative session, in which we saw another Koch-funded group, Americans for Prosperity, spearhead the dismantling of collective bargaining rights in Iowa.

I hope legislators from both sides of the aisle practice due diligence and toughly examine the pros and cons of drastically altering a retirement system that has, since 1953, provided great retirement security for state, school, and public safety employees in Iowa.

I would refer them, and all my fellow Iowans, to check out the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS). NIRS is a non-partisan, non-profit research institute headquartered in Washington, D.C. A December, 2014 research brief titled, “Still a better Bang for the Buck: Update on the Economic Efficiencies of Pensions” finds “pension plans are a far more cost-efficient means of providing retirement income as compared to individual defined contribution accounts.”

The study further claims “that the economic efficiencies embedded in defined benefit pensions enable these retirement plans to deliver the same retirement income at a 48 percent lower cost than 401(k)-type defined contribution accounts. You may read the entire brief and over 30 other related briefs on the NIRS web site.

Let’s let Iowa reason prevail and not out-of-state “dark” money.