Gubernatorial candidates in three states who proposed a move to defined contribution plans for new employees in their respective state pension systems were defeated in last week's midterm elections.
Republican candidates in Oregon, Colorado and New Mexico who each ran on a platform that included the switch to DC plans lost decisively. Each Republican candidate had an uphill climb in states that ultimately voted mostly Democratic on the state and federal levels on Nov. 6.
Bridget Early, executive director of the National Public Pension Coalition in Washington, said voters in the three states took retirement security into account when casting their ballots. "Even when there were attempts to vilify public employees and defined benefit plans and (suggestions that) everyone should have 401(k)s, I think folks are starting to understand that (retirement security) is very important to the economy," she said.
Prior to the election, Pensions & Investments previewed 10 statewide races and one ballot measure in which retirement issues factored prominently into candidate platforms or would be directly affected based on the result. Here's how the gubernatorial races turned out: