21 04, 2021

Public pensions funded ratio continues strong recovery; hits new high-water mark of 79.0% in Q1 2021

2021-04-21T10:50:13-07:00April 21st, 2021|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: |

By Rebecca A. Sielman Source: Milliman The first quarter (Q1) of 2021 marked a fourth consecutive quarter of high-water marks for both assets and liabilities for public pensions, with the estimated funded status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans growing from 78.6% at the end of December 2020 to 79.0% at the end of March 2021, as measured by the Milliman 100 Public Pension Funding Index (PPFI). The deficit between estimated assets and liabilities closed slightly from [...]

6 05, 2020

Public pension funds are a net gain for state and local revenue – study

2020-05-06T14:47:18-07:00May 6th, 2020|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

Public pension funds were net revenue generators for state and local governments in 2018, surpassing taxpayer contributions by $179 billion, according to a biennial study released Tuesday by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems. That represents a 30.6% increase from the original study covering 2015-2016. In 2018, pension funds generated about $341.4 billion in state and local revenues through investments and retiree spending, while the taxpayer contribution to those pension plans was $162 billion. For 40 states, [...]

22 04, 2020

NIRS Reponds to The New York Times on Public Pensions

2020-04-22T08:10:43-07:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

In response to a New York Times article published April 2, 2020, an article regarding public pensions, NIRS writes that characterizing these retirement plans that serve 15 million working and 11 million retired employees of state and local government as “time bombs” borders on journalistic malpractice. Indeed, public pension funds face challenges that will arise because of the unprecedented economic conditions facing all investors. But, the vast majority of these plans are built to last. The letter indicates that when [...]

21 04, 2020

Public pensions survived the Great Recession. They will survive coronavirus, too

2020-04-21T10:25:22-07:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

For most Americans these days, timing is everything when it comes to retirement. At the moment, it looks like those who recently retired or who are on the cusp of retirement may have picked a bad time to be born. For them, the steep drop in the investment markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic came at just the wrong moment. History tells us that the markets will recover and that cycles of ups and downs are inevitable. But under [...]

16 03, 2018

A Case Against Cuts to Public Pensions

2018-03-16T10:15:08-07:00March 16th, 2018|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , |

Dave Low is the chairman of Californians for Retirement Security, a coalition of public employee unions that was founded about 15 years ago to defend workers against calls for pension cuts. Today, with retirement costs ballooning, the pressure is sure to rise. While the California Legislature and leading candidates for governor have carefully avoided any substantive discussion on pensions, cities are struggling. Rising retiree costs have forced many cities and school districts to divert more of today’s budgets to [...]

21 12, 2017

Pension Reform Comes In Many Shapes And Sizes

2017-12-21T10:10:48-08:00December 21st, 2017|Categories: Pension Reform|Tags: |

Albert Einstein once said we cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. Unfortunately, when it comes to the nation’s struggling public pensions, now more than $1 trillion in debt, that’s exactly what’s been happening. For years, state and local policymakers have been trying to keep their heads above water, while ignoring the coming pension debt tsunami. That is until recently. Over the past year, three states have made the tough decision to tackle [...]

20 07, 2017

‘Dismantling’ Public Pensions Could Cost Economy $3.3 Trillion

2017-07-20T17:08:39-07:00July 20th, 2017|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: |

The “dismantling” of public pension funds by policymakers who push defined contribution plans as a replacement could set off severe effects for the economy, including lower growth and greater income inequality. That’s the conclusion from a new study by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, a trade association representing more than 500 U.S. and Canadian funds, which estimates the economy “will suffer severe setbacks” by 2025 if defined benefit public pensions are dismantled at its current pace.  [...]

13 07, 2016

Public pension plans better for retirees’ needs, report says

2016-07-13T20:57:22-07:00July 13th, 2016|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

As workers worry increasingly about having enough money to see them through retirement in reasonable comfort without running out, as well as wanting to be able to move their retirement plans from job to job, a report from the National Institute on Retirement Securitytouts public defined benefit pension plans as meeting both those needs. The study was based on a survey of 89 public pension plans to determine plan types, employee contribution rates, vesting requirements, interest rates paid on withdrawn employee contributions, refunds of [...]

17 03, 2015

Meet the real villain in the public pension crisis

2015-03-17T22:30:08-07:00March 17th, 2015|Categories: Pension Reform|Tags: , , |

Over the last year, the city of Memphis, Tennessee, has been bleeding firefighters and police officers. Two hundred and fifty of them quit, others retired, and replacements are becoming more difficult to attract. This past July, just over half the city’s police force took a sick day in protest. Their complaint? A December decision by the City Council to partially move public employee’s pensions to a hybrid system that includes 401(k)-style accounts for workers with 7.5 years of tenure or less. [...]

19 05, 2014

Cuts to Detroit Pensions Set Dangerous Precedent

2014-05-19T16:41:47-07:00May 19th, 2014|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , , , |

Detroit’s bankruptcy, the largest municipal case in U.S. history, has attracted wide media commentary as an example of the country’s “unsustainable” public pension obligations. But it’s time to train a magnifying glass on the substance of the bankruptcy itself, particularly with regard to how it will affect workers and their retirements — in Detroit and around the country. Traditional legal interpretations of pensions have viewed their obligations as sacrosanct, especially once the passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of [...]

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