Category Archives: Public Sector

Closing the Gap: Understanding and Managing State Pension and Retiree Health Care Benefits

Source: Pew Center on the States, June 2011

Policy makers from 25 states explored the long-term challenges posed by their public sector retirement costs at the Pew Center on the States’ conference, “Closing the Gap: Understanding and Managing State Pension and Retiree Health Care Benefits.” The event covered the financial risks posed by gaps in state and local pension and retiree health benefit funding, options to address public sector retirement costs and the effects of those changes on the state workforce..”

Robert H. Attmore, chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), discussed likely changes to accounting and financial reporting standards that would affect all state and local public sector pension plans.

Several state officials discussed how they are confronting pension issues, including Gina Raimondo, general treasurer for the State of Rhode Island, and officials from Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.

Sessions included:
– Gauging the Risks–Public Sector Retirement Liabilities
– Gauging the Risks–State Case Studies
– Bending the Curve–Long-term Pension Cost
– Bending the Curve–State Workforce Retention and Recruitment
– Bending the Curve–Retiree Health Care and Other Non-pension Benefits
– The National Significance of State and Local Public Sector Retirement Issues
– The State-Local Balancing Act
– Looking Forward: Striking the Right Balance

Lessons from Well-Funded Public Pensions: An Analysis of Plans that Weathered the Financial Storm

Source: Jun Peng, Ilana Boivie, National Institute on Retirement Security, June 2011

From the summary:
A new study identifies common elements of public sector defined benefit pension plans that remained well-funded despite two severe economic downturns.
See also:
Press release
PowerPoint
Fact sheet

What Wisconsin Means

Source: Roger Bybee, Dollars and Sense, no. 294, May/June 2011

The “Wisconsin uprising” has slowed the newest anti-labor salvo….While Walker’s anti-union moves are on hold in the courts, labor and progressives have a chance to do something even more important than recalling Republican state legislators: to build a durable coalition that will support union rights and oppose draconian budget cuts.