Defined Benefit plans in the public sector are a disaster as the actuarial/political cabal has consistently undervalued their costs to the point now where defaults are inevitable – which is something unions representing public employees do not want to hear so they use a good chunk of their members’ dues to create an alternative reality.
The National Public Pension Coalition (NPPC), based on their latest 990 filing, gets about a million dollars annually from various unions to:
“promote social welfare by educating the public and promoting public policies that support defined benefit pension plans for public employees.”
To that end they put up a blog post yesterday:
It’s well-known that public pension funds took a major hit during the financial crisis. We’ve written before about the steep drop in funding levels from 2008 – 2009 when the economy was crashing due to Wall Street greed and incompetence. The story that’s less well-known is that the majority of public pension funds continue to recover from the depths of the recession, as a recent report from the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) details.
NCPERS is a trade association of public pension plan administrators, trustees, and investment professionals. These are the folks who actually manage public pension funds and administer benefits to retirees. Each year NCPERS surveys its members about various aspects of public pension plans from funding level to investment performance to cost effectiveness. The recently released 2016 survey documents healthy pension funds that provide a secure retirement to firefighters, teachers, librarians, and other public employees.
This report is confirmation of what we already know: public pensions work. They are a cost-effective way to provide retirement security to working families. While pension funds did take a hit during the recession, they continue to recover each year through smart investing and cost-cutting measures.
NCPERS has a similar agenda and funding source to NPPC and the report mentioned includes this explanation of their methodology:
For the 2016 study, 159 respondents provided feedback to NCPERS using the most recently available data. Of the 159 respondents, 71 also responded to the 2015 study.
Yes, they sent out questionnaires. Did New Jersey respond….or even get one? And the questions ranged from the ‘what are you doing right’ variety:
to a grudging acknowledgement that unfunded liabilities might exist (followed quickly by the fluff):