Archive for the ‘Public Pensions – General’ Category

Public Pensions As Revenue Generators

And “significant” revenue generators at that. According to their latest ‘research’ brief the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) posits that if “public pensions were dismantled, our economy would suffer a loss of about $3 trillion by 2025.” And it gets funnier:

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RFP Funding Factor

A Bloomberg story pegging Wisconsin as having the best funded public pension retirement system in the nation starts off:

The latest Pew Charitable Trusts report on the state pension funding gap, which came out last month, has many words of warning for states that are “on an unsustainable course, coming up short on their investment targets and having failed to set aside enough money to fund the pension promises made to public employees.” New Jersey is in the worst shape of all, with pension fund assets that in 2016 added up to only 31 percent of liabilities.

New Jersey may still be last (depending on how Kentucky plays it) but not for lack of assumption manipulation. Which got me to thinking.

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Leading the Collapse of Public Pension Funds

Bloomberg View has an article predicting that in “the next decade, and probably within five years, some large states are going to face insolvency due to pensions, absent major changes.”

Their poster-boy state:

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Pew Ranks – 2016

Last week the Pew Charitable Trusts released their annual funding gap study based on data from the CAFRs of over 230 public pension plans.  I did a review of last year’s study noting data glitches but it is a worthy project for the Pew people to undertake for academic reasons. However, for practical purposes, here is why it is useless.

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EA18 (6) Ethics of Contingencies

The second general session was on ethics:

In this highly interactive session, panelists and audience members debate solutions to difficult ethical situations faced by actuaries in their day-to-day practices, including transitions from one actuary to another, conflicts of interest, disagreements among actuaries, billing problems, and working with difficult clients.

The format was to present unethical case studies and have everyone agree they were unethical. Number 3 however, though suitably disguised, may have hit a little close to home for one-third of the attendees:

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EAM18 (1) : Interesting Charts

Next week I will be at the 2018 Enrolled Actuaries meeting and in going over the handouts to decide which sessions to attend I came across a few charts on multiemployer and public plans that I am fairly sure are public information and can be shared. Though meeting policies preclude any session recording I will report back occasionally throughout the week on any developments to extent I am allowed.

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Public Pensions, Secret Investments

A new book by Chris Tobe, CFA examines ‘alternative’ investments primarily in the retirement system of Kentucky with chapters on Rhode Island and North Carolina and reports that fees are much higher then they let on though a lot remains intentionally hidden.

Excerpts follow:

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