Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > Pension - Social Security
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions


Not looking for a job? Tell us about your ideal job,
and we'll only contact you when it opens up.
https://www.dwsimpson.com/register


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1711  
Old Yesterday, 09:56 PM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,665
Blog Entries: 6
Default

CALIFORNIA
CALPERS
PRIVATE EQUITY

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/calpers-...rogram-gets-b/
Quote:
CalPERS Global Equity Program Gets a ‘B’
It was a much better grade than the CalPERS Investment Office, which got a ‘D’ because of turnover in senior management.


Spoiler:
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s $178.6 billion global equity program received an overall grade of B from the system’s general consultant, but the overall CalPERS investment organization was given a much lower D rating.

Wilshire Consulting cited a strong team-based culture among investment officers managing the global equity portfolio for its B rating but named turnover among CalPERS top investment officials for its overall D rating.

In a November 13 report, Wilshire cited the departure of Chief Investment Officer Ted Eliopoulos and turnover in the chief operating investment officer (COIO) position for its low rating.

In September, Wilshire had also issued the investment office the same overall D rating, citing the same senior management departures, as part of its evaluation of CalPERS’s $84.7 billion fixed-income program. At that time, Wilshire also gave the fixed income program an overall B rating.

Today is Eliopoulos’ last day. CalPERS’s new CIO Yu Ben Meng won’t start until sometime in January even though he was appointed to the position in late September.

The delay is because of a non-compete agreement put in place by the Chinese government. Meng had been a key investment officer in China, managing more than $1 trillion of China’s foreign currency reserves.

CalPERS was also without a permanent person in the number two spot in the investment officer, the COIO, for five months after the early January 2018 departure of Wylie Tollette. Elisabeth Bourqui, the head of pension assets and liabilities management at ABB Group in Switzerland, was named C in May.

Wilshire consultant Steve Foresti told investment committee members at the Nov. 13 meeting that the CalPERS investment office’s overall rating should improve “as we move forward, and things stabilize and get integrated.”

He said the drop to D from C in the investment office rating between 2018 and 2017, was “purely because of that level of turnover at the CIO level and COIO level.”

As to the previous 2017 C rating for the investment office, Foresti told the investment committee that staff turnover, not only among CalPERS senior management, but among investment staff in the global equity program, was an issue. He said CalPERS is unable to offer the incentive structure and asset management ownership that can be offered at private asset managers. Some of the same factors were also cited in the Nov. 13 Wilshire report that was presented to the investment committee.

“CalPERS faces some unique organizational risks that for-profit enterprises have greater flexibility in managing,” the report said. “There is a lack of long-term ‘ownership’ opportunities such as direct ownership, phantom stock, and other incentive-based compensation packages.”

CalPERS portfolio officers do get bonuses but the yearly pay of several hundred thousand dollars at most pales to the potential millions of dollars in compensation investment officials can earn at asset managers.

Wilshire noted in the Nov. 13 report: “While the Global Equity team continues to look for outstanding candidates for new and open positions, compensation bands constrain its ability to attract candidates especially with competition from both local asset management and asset owner organizations. There are currently open positions at the Investment Director (ID), Investment Officer (IO), and Associate Investment Manager (AIM) levels, which play an important role in supporting the senior team and will be crucial in maintaining the quality of personnel over the long-term.”

The Wilshire review of the global equities program also looked at the underperformance of the global equity portfolio in the latest 12-month fiscal year ended June 30. Despite strong absolute performance—a net return of 11.5%—Wilshire noted that the global equity portfolio underperformed its custom benchmark by 0.4%.

Wilshire said the program’s recent underperformance, “appears to be largely the result of its intentional tilt towards defensive positioning rather than from any deterioration in investment approach or process.”

Wilshire did recommend continual monitoring of the global equity team’s investment approach.

CalPERS has an overall investment portfolio of $361.1 billion and is the largest pension plan in the US.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #1712  
Old Today, 07:02 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,665
Blog Entries: 6
Default

NEW YORK CITY



https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2018/11...for-retiree-h/
Quote:
New York City Owes About $100 Billion for Retiree Health Care
The company is supporting the post-retirement health benefits obligations with just $5 billion in reserves.

Spoiler:
New York City faces future health costs for its retired workers of $103.2 billion, an increase of $40 billion over a decade. It has about $5 billion set aside to pay the bill.

The so-called “other post-employment benefits” (OPEB) liability was disclosed in New York’s comprehensive annual financial report released by the city comptroller’s office Wednesday. The city’s $98 billion unfunded liability for retiree health care exceeds the city’s $93 billion of bond debt and $48 billion pension funding gap.
(Related: Detroit Retirees Blast City Plan)

New York, the most populous U.S. city, has almost 300,000 current employees and is responsible for more than 230,000 retirees and their beneficiaries.

The city’s post-employment benefits include health insurance, Medicare Part B reimbursements, and welfare fund contributions. Medicare Part B covers doctors’ services that are received from a federally approved facility or a medical practice. Welfare funds are administered by unions and provide supplemental benefits such as prescription drug, vision and dental coverage.

New York City should address its retiree health care costs by requiring beneficiaries to share the cost of premiums for health insurance, eliminating the reimbursement for Medicare Part B and reducing contributions to the welfare funds, according to the Citizens Budget Commission, a budget watchdog group funded by the business community.

“The city’s long-term liabilities are substantial, and paying the associated legacy costs is crowding out programmatic spending,” the CBC said in a September report. “The city needs to develop a strategy to reduce long-term liabilities and keep legacy costs a manageable portion of the annual operating budget.”

The $5 billion New York City has saved to retiree health payments is projected to last until 2026. After that, the city will fund benefits on a pay-as-you go basis. The city paid $2.6 billion in retiree health benefits last year.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #1713  
Old Today, 07:03 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,665
Blog Entries: 6
Default

CALIFORNIA
CALPERS
ESG

https://www.barrons.com/articles/esg...nia-1541200869
Quote:
ESG Investing Suffers a Setback in California - Barron's

Spoiler:
A funny thing happened recently in the left-leaning Golden State. In a board election last month, members of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers, the biggest pension fund in the nation, threw out their president and gave ESG investing a bloody nose.
ESG is the increasingly popular asset-management style that applies environmental, social, and governance standards to screen potential investments. Following this approach, an investor might avoid certain stocks or push shareholder proposals to modify corporate behavior. Unfortunately, they often favor hard-to-define social objectives rather than the narrower goal of maximizing shareholder returns.
In the vote, Jason Perez, a sergeant in the Corona, Calif., police department, upset board member Priya Mathur, a 15-year Calpers veteran, who was also board president and a champion of Calpers’ focus on ESG investing. The pension fund runs $351 billion for its 1.9 million members. Because of its size and stature, Calpers is among the most influential institutional investors in the U.S., and its policies are often adopted by other state pension funds.
Perez, who received 57% of the vote to Mathur’s 43%, ran a campaign that criticized her support for Calpers’ use of ESG, which goes back to at least 2012. Perez’s victory didn’t come as a surprise to those who bothered to look at Calpers’ mediocre recent returns. And that’s exactly what members seemed to have done.
Over the past five and 10 years ended on June 30, the close of Calpers’ fiscal year, the fund returned 8.1% and 5.6%, respectively, in one of the strongest bull markets in history. In the same periods, the S&P 500 index returned 13.4% and 10.2%. In fairness, the fund’s portfolio slightly topped its benchmark over the five years ended on Dec. 31, but underperformed over 10 years.
In an interview with Barron’s, Perez credits his win to a growing belief among members that ESG wasn’t doing them any favors. “Calpers’ social investment focus and lack of returns received a lot of attention of labor up and down the state….Everyone noticed the performance and [Calpers’] desire to concentrate on social issues.”
Perez is straightforward about his plans: The mission of the fund is primarily to provide benefits to members and reduce the burden on contracting agencies like the municipalities that hire state workers, he says. “We have a fiduciary duty, and I intend to hold them [Calpers] to that.”
The Calpers board has its work cut out. As of the most recent fiscal year, it was just 71% funded. That’s a small improvement from the previous year, when it was 68% funded with a $138.5 billion unfunded liability. That’s the shortfall between retirement benefits promised and the current funding available to meet those obligations. It’s hard to see how it will get fully funded on its own anytime soon.
Newsletter Sign-up
Short of strong future performance, employees and taxpayers will have to make up that deficit. Perez notes that the upcoming state elections include numerous municipal ballots about tax increases, in some cases partly as a result of underfunded pensions.
Calpers isn’t the only seriously underfunded public plan. In a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the funding gap in 2016, the latest year for which comprehensive data were available, was put at $1.4 trillion, up $300 billion from 2015.
Proponents of ESG point to studies suggesting that its methods can often attain portfolio returns that are no worse, or even better, than conventional methods. Opponents produce other studies that suggest using social litmus tests for investing can lead to worse returns, particularly through a lack of sector diversification. I would point to Calpers’ own study on the matter: Its exit from some tobacco stocks in 2000 reduced portfolio returns by $3 billion from 2001 to 2014.
There’s another basic problem with ESG: no standard legal definition. Each fund approaches it in its own way, which can mean varying degrees of emphasis on the environmental or social good or governance. In my experience, better governance and transparency are shareholder friendly and worthwhile. How hard is ESG to define? On Oct. 1, a group of securities lawyers and dozens of institutions, including Calpers, petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to standardize rules on ESG. I doubt the SEC knows any better.
And still, ESG shareholder proposals keep coming. According to Institutional Shareholder Services, the majority of shareholder proposals submitted to U.S. companies during the 2018 proxy season was related to environmental and social concerns. Two funds have filed a shareholder proposal requesting Facebook to “explain what it is doing to address content that threatens democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression.”
“We are reaching a crescendo of bad fund management meeting unfunded liabilities,” says Christopher Burnham, president of the Institute for Pension Fund Integrity. “Calpers members recognize this and reject those who are playing politics instead of getting the highest rate of return at a reasonable risk.”
While the jury is still out, why are active fund managers tripping over themselves to produce new ESG funds? Could this be their response to the competitive landscape, after having lost huge amounts of investor money to passive strategies like exchange-traded funds? Yes, probably.
“It’s too early to tell if this election will have ramifications beyond Calpers,” says Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners and a Republican SEC commissioner from 2002 to 2008. “But a lot of funds are already using ESG, and investors don’t know to what extent they are using it.”
With ESG so popular, the election of Perez could be just a blip in its ascent. But if ESG investing doesn’t produce demonstrable proof of its efficacy on long-term shareholder returns, it could be the first tremor before an earthquake.

__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #1714  
Old Today, 07:04 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,665
Blog Entries: 6
Default

CANADA
ESG

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/canada-p...r-composition/
Quote:
Canada Pension Plan Focuses on Board Gender Composition

Spoiler:
Pension says companies with diverse boards perform better financially.
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) said it is increasing its focus on strengthening corporate governance, with an emphasis on improving the gender composition of the board of directors of companies it invests in.
“It’s crucial for companies in which we invest capital to assemble boards that reflect the full range of talent available,” Mark Machin, CEO of CPPIB, said in a release. “If companies don’t take the required action to achieve the board effectiveness that today’s business environment requires, it falls to investors to provide a nudge, and when necessary, a push.”
In its most recent report on sustainable investing, CPPIB added board effectiveness as a fifth focus area, along with climate change, water, human rights, and executive compensation. The change is intended to help CPPIB better identify and address issues such as gender diversity. The report also said that during 2017, CPPIB voted on measures at shareholder meetings for 45 Canadian companies with no female directors to demonstrate the organization’s desire for improved diversity. It said that one year later, nearly half of the businesses had appointed at least one woman to their boards.
“CPPIB believes companies with diverse boards are more likely to achieve superior financial performance,” said the company, citing research from Credit Suisse and Catalyst Inc. that have shown that companies with a higher representation of women reported higher returns.
According to 2020 Women on Boards, a non-profit organization created to increase the inclusion of women on company boards, women now hold 20.8% of the board seats among the 801 Fortune 1000 companies tracked by its Gender Diversity Index. This is up from 19.7% in 2016, and 14.6% in 2011, when it first started tracking the data.
“Enhancing board effectiveness is just one of the ways CPPIB addresses environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues,” said the fund. “Others include engaging with companies on ESG practices, collaborating with other investors, and incorporating ESG factors into investment decision-making processes.”
The report also said CPPIB has developed a toolkit to help investment teams better assess the impact of climate change on both existing and potential investments.
“We aim to be a leader among asset owners and managers in understanding the investment risks and opportunities presented by climate change,” said Machin.
CPPIB said it expanded its portfolio of renewable energy assets, which its investment teams believe can provide better risk-adjusted returns “when done in a thoughtful, prudent manner.”
Earlier this year, CPPIB became the first pension fund to issue green bonds, which the organization said increased its capacity to invest in renewables.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #1715  
Old Today, 07:54 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,665
Blog Entries: 6
Default

CONNECTICUT
https://ctmirror.org/2018/11/15/repo...ster-revenues/

Quote:
Report: CT’s debt costs likely will grow faster than its revenues


Spoiler:
Despite a 12-month surge in state tax receipts, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget office warned Thursday that Connecticut’s pension obligations and other debt will grow faster than revenues in the coming years.

The administration’s Fiscal Accountability Report — a mandated annual assessment of a wide array of fiscal health indicators — also repeated its call for a long-term strategy to deal with teachers’ pension contributions, one of the fastest-growing segment of the state budget.

“Absent any recession, the (tax revenue) growth rates remain conservative and well below growth experienced in prior recoveries,” the Office of Policy and Management wrote in its report.

At first glance this seems counter to recent evidence.

Connecticut boosted its budget reserves from $212 million to almost $1.2 billion over the past fiscal year, driven largely by spiking state income tax receipts.

And initial projections show the state could deposit another $900 million in the rainy day fund after this fiscal year ends on June 30 — with the income tax again a major factor.

But the administration warns there are several reasons to be cautious.

The state income tax gets about two-thirds of its receipts from paycheck withholding and the rest from quarterly filings — which largely reflect capital gains, dividends and other investment earnings.

Traditionally this has been one of the most volatile components of the entire state tax system, experiencing double-digit percentage growth or shrinkage depending on the economy.

But since the last recession ended in early 2010, Connecticut’s goose that lays golden eggs has grown more conservatively.


And while there are positive economic signs, including job growth and extra receipts from paycheck withholdings, the latest surge is partly “an outlier,” the report states.

Why? There are two reasons, and neither is likely to generate a long-term trend.

Many households inflated their quarterly state income tax payments this past winter to take advantage of favorable federal income tax rules that expired after the 2017 calendar year.

And a federal income tax loophole that for years allowed hedge-fund managers to accumulate offshore gains without paying federal and and state income taxes closed this past year, leading to a short-term surge in payments.

By 2021 and 2022, the administration predicts, the capital gains and dividends portion of the income tax should be growing at a modest 2 percent a year — provided Connecticut and the nation are not in a recession.

And there’s another reason to be cautious, according to the governor’s budget office. What are commonly called “fixed costs” are not staying fixed.

Required contributions to pension funds, a retirement health care program for state employees, Medicaid and other federal entitlements already approach 45 percent of the budget. They are deemed “fixed” costs not because they can’t rise, but rather because it is difficult for state government to reduce them.

And this report doesn’t even address two other major “fixed” costs in state government, salaries and non-retirement benefits for employees.

Still, the governor’s budget office warns that the fixed costs that were analyzed will grow $620 million next fiscal year, or roughly 8 percent. There will be similar growth for the next two years after that as they jump $569 million and $552 million, respectively.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski, who lost the 2018 campaign to Democrat Ned Lamont, repeatedly pledged to take a “zero-based” approach to state finances, making no assumptions about expenditures when preparing his own budget. That claim was highly contentious during the race largely because Connecticut carries a larger share of fixed costs on its budget than do most other states.


Perhaps the largest fixed cost involves the $1.39 billion contribution Connecticut must make next fiscal year to its pension fund for municipal teachers.

Like the pension fund for state employees, Connecticut routinely short-changed contributions to the pension fund for teachers between 1939 and 2010, leading analysts to project a massive surge in costs between now and the mid-2030s.

Connecticut and state employee unions agreed last year to restructure payments into the employees’ pension fund, shifting billions of dollars of expenses onto taxpayers after 2032.

But the state borrowed $2 billion in 2008 to shore up the teachers’ pension and pledged in its covenant with bond investors not to tamper with pension contributions until the bonds are paid off.

That isn’t scheduled to happen until 2032 and the earliest the state likely could pay off that debt is 2025.

“Failure to address the funding issues in TRS (Teachers Retirement System) leaves the state exposes to annual increases (in contributions) amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars each year throughout the coming decade,” the report states.

The governor has recommended that the state study an option raised earlier this year by the state Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Competitiveness.

It recommended that legislators consider dedicating an asset, such as the annual proceeds it receives from the quasi-public Connecticut Lottery Corporation, to a pension fund.

The lottery sent between $330 million and $338 million into the budget’s General Fund in each of the past two fiscal years. If this stream were pledged to the teachers’ pension for a decade — and if reasonable growth is assumed from the investment of those revenues — it could be worth $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion to the pension fund over this period.

This would raise the teachers’ pensions’ funded ratio beyond 70 percent. In other words, it would — with the lottery revenue stream — have enough assets to cover more than 70 percent of its long-term obligations.

The bond covenant does allow the legislature and governor to modify pension contributions modestly, provided the funded ratio is in excess of 70 percent.


https://fox61.com/2018/11/18/nappier...-pension-fund/
Quote:
Nappier: Lottery-backed bonds could fix teacher pension fund

Spoiler:
HARTFORD — Outgoing Connecticut Treasurer Denise Nappier is recommending lottery revenues be used to fix the state’s underfunded teacher retirement fund.

The Democrat suggests Connecticut issue bonds backed by the state lottery. She predicts such a move would generate approximately $1.5 billion in cash that could be deposited into the fund. She is recommending that another $1.5 billion in unidentified state assets be transferred to the fund as well.

The Teacher Retirement Fund currently has a projected unfunded liability of $13 billion.

Democratic Gov.-elect Ned Lamont has said he supports dedicating lottery proceeds to the retirement fund, saying it would represent $5 billion-to-$7 billion in cash flow.

Nappier has warned about Connecticut’s unfunded pension liabilities throughout her 20-year tenure. The teacher pension idea is one of many recommendations she’s making to successors.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #1716  
Old Today, 07:55 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,665
Blog Entries: 6
Default

NEW YORK CITY
ESG

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/11/1...k-fallout.html

Quote:
NYC pension fund chief Scott Stringer on Facebook fallout

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees roughly $195 billion in pension funds, discusses the scrutiny on Facebook and whether he’ll remain invested in the social media company.

[video]
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #1717  
Old Today, 07:56 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,665
Blog Entries: 6
Default

ILLINOIS

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/joe-...ly-one-purpose

Quote:
Pritzker's progressive income tax must serve only this one purpose
All money raised by any tax increase should be sealed off in a special fund for the sole benefit of state pension plans. No exceptions. And the tax increase should be temporary, lasting only until pension plans reach actuarially required funding levels.

Spoiler:
Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker has a chance to accomplish what his three predecessors couldn't—stop Illinois' slide toward financial oblivion.

Repairing state finances is the most important thing he can do as governor. His progressive agenda requires a stable fiscal base. And he can't stabilize Illinois' finances without reducing a $130 billion public pension funding shortfall that's devouring a quarter of state expenditures this fiscal year and will consume an ever-larger share in years to come.

Fixing pensions should be Pritzker's top priority. Yet he's made only vague statements about honoring commitments to retired state workers and boosting contributions to pension plans.

Pritzker has been clearer on taxes. He wants to replace Illinois' flat 4.95 percent income tax rate with a "graduated" tax that levies higher rates on higher incomes, an approach used by 33 states and the federal government. Implementing such a tax in Illinois would require a constitutional amendment, but Pritzker and his fellow Democrats may have the votes to get it through the Legislature and onto the ballot for voters to consider.


Even though Pritzker hasn't said what the rates would be, you can bet a graduated income tax would raise more money, not less, from Illinois taxpayers already carrying a heavy load. But it's unrealistic to think Illinois can defuse the pension time bomb and continue providing basic government services without more revenue.

Unpleasant as higher taxes may be, I'm more worried about how the money would be spent. Far worse than a tax hike is a tax hike that doesn't solve the state's most pressing problem. A tax increase is acceptable only if all the additional revenue goes to pensions, and the hike expires when pension plans have enough money to meet future obligations.

ADVERTISING


Pritzker has made no such promises about his graduated income tax. Even as he acknowledges the need to boost pension contributions, he talks about spending money on education, capital programs and other priorities.

This raises the disturbing prospect that Pritzker would dole out any additional tax revenue as he and Springfield lawmakers see fit. We know how that works. Left to their own devices, politicians prefer handing out tangible, here-and-now goodies that generate photo ops and buy the support of influential interest groups. Rarely will they devote cash to boring but essential purposes for the long-term benefit of all Illinoisans.

Purposes like, say, adequately funding state employee pensions. Much of today's pension funding crisis can be traced to heedless decisions by Illinois lawmakers to shortchange pension funds. Between 1985 and 2012, a succession of governors and legislators contributed a stunning $41.2 billion less than was needed to keep state pension plans healthy. Along the way, they added ruinously expensive pension sweeteners, like annual 3 percent cost-of-living increases, no matter how fierce or tame inflation really is.

After the consequences of their irresponsibility became too obvious to deny, lawmakers tried to contain the damage. But a state constitutional provision banning any reduction of promised pension benefits invalidated a law that would have trimmed the state's obligations.

If Illinois lawmakers had been good stewards of taxpayer dollars, state pensions would be fully funded. The $130 billion shortfall confirms the folly of entrusting more revenue to their discretion.

All money raised by any tax increase should be sealed off in a special fund for the sole benefit of state pension plans. No exceptions. And the tax increase should be temporary, lasting only until pension plans reach actuarially required funding levels. Such a plan would pull Illinois back from the fiscal brink and restore confidence in the state's economy. Though nobody likes paying more taxes, individuals and businesses likely would accept a temporary increase that provides the certainty and stability they need to plan their futures in Illinois.


If that's his only accomplishment, Pritzker will be the most successful governor we've had in decades.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #1718  
Old Today, 07:58 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,665
Blog Entries: 6
Default

PENNSYLVANIA

https://www.sacbee.com/news/article221763355.html

Quote:
Pension, gambling laws among Legislature session highlights

Spoiler:
Pennsylvania state lawmakers wrapped up their session this week with the election of caucus leaders and farewell speeches by departing colleagues, closing the book on two years that produced nearly 250 new laws.

Their most high-profile debate , however, ended inconclusively when Senate Republicans blocked a proposal supported by the GOP-controlled House and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue perpetrators or institutions over claims that would otherwise be too old to pursue under current law.

Wolf's vetoes canceled legislation on public debt, abortion restrictions, price gouging and agricultural education.

A proposal to impose a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling passed the Senate but stalled in the House, while the opioid crisis, school safety and domestic violence became the subject of several new laws.

Among the 2017-18 session's legislative highlights:

PENSION REFORM

Future hires in public schools and state government are getting reduced retirement benefits under a landmark pension overhaul law.

The new plans start to take effect for those hired in 2019, including judges or lawmakers who start their service after that date. The changes will save billions over the coming decades for the underfunded programs.

New hires will choose from among plans that include a 401(k)-style benefit. The traditional pension benefit is shrinking by more than one-third.

The retirement age is rising from 65 to 67 and pension benefits are tied to five years of salary, instead of three years, to smooth out spikes driven by overtime or other salary changes that can inflate pension benefits.

The legislation exempts law enforcement categories, or about a third of state workers, including state troopers, prison guards and game wardens.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

The state's first anti-violence legislation in more than a decade that deals directly with guns was enacted , requiring people convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence or subject to protective orders to give up their guns within 24 hours. Gun owners subject to protection from abuse orders can no longer give their weapons to family members or friends. Instead, they must be handed over to police, a gun dealer or lawyer.

Another law will help guide judges setting bail for defendants charged with domestic abuse.

CRIMINAL RECORDS SEALED

Lower-level, nonviolent crimes in Pennsylvania will automatically be sealed from public review after 10 years under a new state law. The "clean slate" legislation also seals records of arrests that did not result in convictions. The convictions are not expunged, and records of them will still be available to police, courts and prosecutors.

Access to all summary convictions that are 10 years old will be restricted, as long as the defendant has fulfilled court-ordered obligations.

The state will no longer suspend drivers' licenses for those convicted of drug offenses unrelated to driving, and the use of DNA evidence for those already convicted is being expanded.

HAZING

The death of a Penn State fraternity pledge inspired lawmakers and Wolf to toughen criminal penalties for hazing and allow courts to confiscate fraternity houses where hazing has occurred. Schools must maintain anti-hazing policies and reporting hazing incidents. Hazing incidents that result in severe injury or death are now classified as felonies. A "safe harbor" provision lets people avoid prosecution if they seek help for victims of hazing incidents.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Child victims of human trafficking cannot be prosecuted for crimes they are compelled to commit under a new law that also requires police to contact the state Department of Human Services whenever they encounter a child who has been sexually exploited. The Department of Human Services also must establish ways to provide victims with homes, schooling, training and counseling.

ORGAN DONATION

A rewrite of the state's organ donation bill makes a number of changes aimed at improving survival rates for transplant patients. It allows people with powers of attorney to give permission for organs to be donated and creates a new procedure for determining the organ and tissue donation intentions of a dying person if their wishes aren't clear. Coroners who deny the donation of all of a person's organs must review the clinical findings of procedures performed at the hospital and provide a written statement explaining the reason for the denial.

DUI PENALTIES

Repeat DUI offenders face tougher new penalties, including the state's first felony for driving under the influence, for those with a third conviction for driving with at least twice the legal limit of alcohol, or for all fourth-time offenders. The law also includes longer mandatory jail time for unintentionally causing the death of another person as a result of a repeat DUI violation.

CASINO GAMBLING

The state's gambling industry is expanding under a law that allows up to 10 new mini-casinos, sports betting, slot machine-style games at truck stops and online casino-style gambling.

ANIMAL ABUSE

Libre's Law, named for a dog who suffered severe abuse and became a symbol for the need for reform, increased penalties, putting abusers at risk of felony convictions and fines of at least $500.

It imposes new guidelines for tethering dogs, requires owners to give them access to shade and water when outside and bars owners from keeping dogs outside for longer than half an hour in potentially dangerous weather conditions.

Police were granted legal authority to force their way into vehicles to rescue dogs and cats they believe are in danger. The legislation generally immunizes police, humane officers and other emergency responders from being sued for removing the animals. They must first make a reasonable effort to find the owner and have to leave a note saying who they are, who they work for and how the owner can retrieve their pet.

ABORTION

A proposal to prohibit abortions when the sole reason is that the fetus has or may have Down syndrome passed the state House, but was not acted on in the Senate.

Wolf also vetoed a bill to limited abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and, according to opponents, outlawed the most common method of second-trimester abortion. Planned Parenthood said it would have been the country's most restrictive abortion law.
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #1719  
Old Today, 08:00 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,665
Blog Entries: 6
Default

IDAHO

http://dnews.com/opinion/our-view-id...0f21838d3.html

Quote:
Our View: Idaho pension reform has been years in the making

Spoiler:
Not all perks are created equal - especially those that allow personal enrichment of some to the detriment of others.

Such is the case of the benefit enjoyed by an exclusive club of former Idaho legislators, at least for a little while longer.

For most people, perks such as insurance, bonuses and a retirement plan are all part of the incentive to stay on a particular job, even if the salary isn't the best around.


But for some in Idaho, creativity is its own reward.

In 1985, the Legislature changed how Idaho's Public Employee Retirement System paid benefits. Previously, part-time and full-time service was treated equally when retirement benefits were calculated. The problem was part-time workers were not paying as much into the system as their full-time counterparts but were receiving benefits as if they were working full time. Lawmakers made changes to reflect the different earning status.

Apparently that didn't sit well with lawmakers. In 1990, they passed a law retroactive to 1985 that said the change did not apply to - you guessed it - state legislators.

For the most part, those elected to office try to do what's best for constituents and serve a few terms in relative obscurity. However, a small minority of scheming toadies spend a significant amount of time and energy currying favors with officials who could make their golden years truly that: golden.

This is how it works. A legislator who has, say, 15 years of service is appointed by the governor (or elected) to head a state agency or commission. Their salary increases from about $17,000 per year for the part-time work to, in some cases, more than $100,000 annually as a department head.


Because of the 1990 exception, when that person retires, the PERSI package is calculated at the higher salary using years in the Legislature as full-time work. In most cases, that pencils out to improving a small pension of hundreds a month to one of up to $3,000 or more.

But the sycophant's public trough may soon be shut down.

The Citizens' Committee on Legislative Compensation met in Boise recently and set new pay rates and other benefits for legislators. They also voted to repeal the retirement benefit.

We applaud the committee's move, although it was about 20 years too long in coming. For many Idahoans, that 1990 legislative move never passed the smell test.

We hope the action survives any attempt the Legislature will surly make to thwart the measure. If it makes it through that gauntlet, the road to retirement for state employees may be on a bit more equal footing.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.59324 seconds with 10 queries