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It’s About Security: Little Rock Bucks National Trend on Pensions

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It’s About Security: Little Rock Bucks National Trend on Pensions

Little Rock, Ark.- Following years of hard work through their union, 900 Little Rock city workers switched from an unsustainable, risky 401(k) retirement plan to a stable pension plan, a move that will bring them greater retirement security.

AFSCME Local 994 members watched with pride as the Little Rock Board of Directors voted unanimously in August to support a defined benefit plan for city workers. This is believed to be the first time a municipality has made the switch from a 401(k) to a pension plan. Members are making the switch, with relief.

“I want this historic win to inspire other city workers to step up and form their own union within AFSCME,” said Nita Moser, who worked for the city for 12 years and is the president of Local 994.

In the past, many workers returned to work after retiring because they simply could not make ends meet on the fluctuating values of their retirement account income. Now, the guessing game is over and the ever-fluctuating stock market won’t determine if these retired workers can pay their bills. The amount retired workers receive monthly is based on years of service and their final salary. 

AFSCME Local 994 led the charge, spending years applying pressure to the board of directors. AFSCME members attended countless Little Rock Board of Directors meetings, gathering petition signatures and having meetings with the board.

“This is a huge win for our members,” Moser said. “Now we’ve got to come together to keep our contract strong. We’ll never stop fighting.”