Archive for the ‘Public Pensions – General’ Category

Clinton-GRAP: The Flaws

With Hillary Clinton losing the Guaranteed Retirement Account Proposal (GRAP) likely went down with her.

Here is why that’s a good thing…

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More Clinton On Defined Benefit Plans

Whatever your opinion of wikileaks you have to give them credit for the way they present the material they pilfer.

Using their search feature brought out another insight into how our next president* will handle the pension crisis that directly impacts millions of people already while most everyone else ignores it.

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Clinton on Defined Benefit Plans

  • I’ll also work with you to advance a broad strategy on retirement security – one that protects defined benefit plans and defends Social Security and ensures that every worker can retire with dignity. We owe it to our seniors and to future generations of retirees.

Hillary Rodham Clinton remarks at AFSCME – June 8, 2015

So what does this leaked agenda item portend for defined benefit plans?

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Not Feeling the Squeeze

The Manhattan Institute just released a report on how pension costs are crowding out education spending. It is titled ‘Feeling the Squeeze‘ and fingers some novel villains:

Almost every state has experienced large pension cost increases, but eight states—Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin—experienced the double whammy of declining per-pupil expenditures and growing pension contributions.

Where is New Jersey?
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ALEC Has It At $5.6 Trillion

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) came out with a report this week based on reviewing the latest available actuarial valuations of over 280 state-administered pension plans and adjusting the discount rate from an average of 7.37% to a ‘riskless’ rate of of 2.344%.

I disagree with the methodology since I believe the funded status of a particular plan should be considered when adjusting the wishful discount rates that the plan actuaries who politicians hire are ‘encouraged’ to use.  That is, a plan closer to full funding should be able to use a rate closer to that 7.37% while a pure pay-go plan (Puerto Rico) should use a rate closer to 0% since that is about what they are getting for the few days any money stays in the trust.

Nevertheless there were some nice charts ranking states by Funded Ratio, Unfunded Liabilities, and Unfunded Liabilities Per Capita.  However, I did not see where they had the underlying data so, based on those charts, I decided to extract some other numbers.

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If Illinois Has “Weak Financial Management” Then….

A new study by S&P Global on the fiscal situation of the states included a handy chart on each state’s bond rating.  As of Friday that chart is outdated.

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Jacksonville Pension Data – Deadly DROP

Pension reform in Jacksonville has a long history which included a forensic investigation and this week:

Voters in Jacksonville, Fla., on Tuesday approved a referendum that creates a half-cent sales tax that will be used exclusively to fully fund the city’s three pension funds.

The vote came as a result of a state law passed earlier this year that allowed for the referendum, with the requirement that all three pension funds become closed to new employees and the employee contribution rate is increased to at least 10%. The pension funds are the general employees and corrections officer pension funds that make up the $2 billion Jacksonville City Retirement System and the $1.8 billion Jacksonville Police & Fire Pension Fund.

Since we are doing a comparison of public pension plans for major cities based on data from their actuarial reports, it’s time to turn to Jacksonville.

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