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



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #101  
Old 01-19-2018, 05:34 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS

http://www.hotsr.com/news/2018/jan/1...-pension-plan/

Quote:
City pays off its share of pension plan debt
Spoiler:
The city's finance department told the Hot Springs Board of Directors Tuesday night that payments servicing the debt on the closed Hot Springs District Court pension plan are not in arrears despite the continued growth of the liability.

The contradiction stems from changes in actuarial assumptions about life expectancies of plan members and their beneficiaries and the rate of return the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System needs from its investments to maintain solvency, Finance Director Dorethea Yates told the board.

The $695,646 unfunded liability APERS assumed when it took over administration of the district court plan in 2005 grew to $722,449 as of last month. It's an obligation borne by the city and Garland County, as both share district court expenses per an interlocal agreement.

Yates told the board last week that the plan had seven members, including three court clerks, when APERS absorbed it subsequent to the Legislature's 2003 passage of the statute that created the state-run District Judge's Retirement System. The $197,991 payment to APERS in January 2005 from the balance in a special fund the city used to pay retirement benefits reduced what had been an $893,636 unfunded liability.

The obligation continued to grow despite the annual payment made on the 30-year promissory note the city issued APERS in exchange for assuming the plan's unfunded liability, prompting the board to adopt a budget resolution Tuesday night transferring $319,750 from the General Fund to the Garland County District Court Fund to pay off the city's half of the debt.

The transfer will be added to the $68,500 the city's 2018 budget appropriated to the District Court Fund's unfunded retirement line item.

The Garland County Quorum Court is expected to follow suit at its next meeting, using interest income from the Ouachita Memorial Hospital Sale Fund to retire its share of the note.

Yates told the board APERS has offered assurances that the lump sum payment will satisfy the obligation in full, even if actuarial projections change. While the payment retires the indebtedness, Yates said it also forgoes the city's chances of benefiting from the possibility of the obligation being less than the aggregate of the city's remaining debt service payments.

"It's my understanding that once we pay off this liability, we would not be responsible," she said. "If one (of the plan members) were to become deceased a lot earlier than expected, the actual amount would not be as much as we thought it would be. If there's extra money, you won't get it back. If there's extra money on the back end, you won't pay it."

Yates told the board the lump sum payment will save the city and county $500,000 in interest expenses over the next 18 years, which is the remaining term on the 30-year note.

Jay Wills, APERS' deputy director, said APERS' board of directors sets the 7.15-percent interest rate applied to the note based on an independent actuary's annual assessment of the state pension fund. The rate represents the return APERS needs from its investments to pay more than $500 million in annual benefits, Wills said.

APERS' board presumes the money it's loaned the city would get a 7.15-percent return if it were invested, so the percentage is applied to the principal on the unfunded liability.

The Finance Department said paying the city's half from the General Fund won't put its balance below the 16 percent of expenses the city code requires it to maintain for reserve purposes. The city budgeted $24,705,568 in 2018 General Fund expenses.

It expects to conclude 2017 with a $5.2 million balance but projected an almost $1.2 million deficit for the 2018 budget year.
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #102  
Old 01-20-2018, 05:35 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/...119-story.html

Quote:
San Diego pension payment spikes $10.6M, with impact of police raises on horizon

San Diego’s annual pension payment will be $10.6 more than expected, worsening projected budget deficits
Analysis of recent large raises for police officers shows they will eventually increase the pension payment more than $30 million a year
The city’s pension debt has increased from $2 billion to $2.76 billion in just two years

Spoiler:
San Diego must pay $10.6 million more than expected to its pension system this year, deepening a projected budget deficit that is expected to require significant cuts this spring.

Things don’t look any better the following year, when pay raises of more than 25 percent given this past fall to police officers begin to spike the city’s pension payment.

ADVERTISING


A new analysis estimates those hikes will eventually increase the annual payment more than $30 million a year. But pension system officials said last week they may decide to spread the impact more evenly over several years.

The city must pay $322.9 million to its pension system on July 1 this year, an increase of $10.6 million over the $312.3 million payment included in a five-year financial outlook presented to the City Council last month.

The higher amount, which was presented Jan. 12 to the board of the city’s pension system, is based on an annual analysis of the system’s assets and liabilities that found employee salaries are increasing faster than expected.

That analysis also showed an increase in assets of just over $100 million from investment earnings of 13.5 percent, primarily because the stock market had a historically strong year.

City officials anticipated that windfall would drop the annual pension payment from $324.5 million last year down to $312.3 million.

But the city must pay $322.9 million instead, primarily because of a $40 million increase in liabilities from salaries growing faster than expected.

The average salary of a city worker increased to $70,271 in the budget year that ended last June 30, up nearly 2 percent from $68,924 one year earlier.

The higher pension payment increases projected deficits in the city’s general fund over the next three budget years of $10.1 million, $34.6 million and $19.8 million.

But the impact will be less than $10.6 million because only about 73 percent of employees are paid by the general fund, with the rest paid by the city’s sewer and water funds.

San Diego putting off pain from new pension debt
Another factor in this year’s pension payment is a decision by the pension board in September to adopt the most conservative long-term investment return projections in the state.

The board lowered the system’s projected long-term investment returns from 7 percent to 6.5 percent, which will require higher contributions by taxpayers and city workers to make up for the lower anticipated returns.

The effect of that change was softened this year by the board’s decision to push much of the financial impact several years down the road through a process called “smoothing.”

The board voted to artificially increase the city’s pension payment during future years when it is projected to be relatively low, allowing the payment to be artificially reduced during future years when it is projected to be relatively high.

Supporters say smoothing helps stabilize the city budget by making the annual payment more consistent.

Critics say smoothing is irresponsible, invoking underfunding schemes more than a decade ago that earned San Diego the nickname “Enron by the Sea.”

The board’s actuary, Gene Kalwarski, said last week that the city’s annual payment would be $345 million instead of $322.9 million this year without the smoothing of the lower projected investment returns.

In 2016, the board decided against smoothing the impact of a study that found city employees are living significantly longer than expected, sharply increasing the city’s pension liability. That change spiked the city’s annual payment from $261 million in the budget year that ended in June 2017 up to $324.5 million in the budget year that ends this June.

Lowering investment return projections and increasing longevity assumptions for workers have jointly increased the city’s pension debt from $2 billion to $2.76 billion during the past two years.

The pension board will face a similar decision next summer when debating whether to use smoothing to soften the impact of the police pay raises.

Police pay raises limit San Diego's financial flexibility, credit agency says
The raises, which the City Council approved Dec. 5, would provide all officers hikes of at least 25.6 percent between next July and January 2020, and veterans with more than 20 years on the job would get 30.6 percent raises.

An actuarial analysis estimates the increase in the city’s pension payment from the hikes will start at $12.1 million in the 2020 budget year and then steadily climb up to $33.1 million in 2034.

Board member George Kenney said he’d like the board to be given several possible smoothing schedules of varying lengths, but that he prefers shorter periods of smoothing.

“The pension fund should not be viewed by the city as a bank account,” Kenney said.

The police raises have a big impact on the pension system because San Diego replaced pensions with 401(k)-like plans for all new hires except police officers when voters approved Proposition B in 2012.

So while police officers account for only 1,800 of the city’s 11,000 workers, they make up a larger percentage of the employees receiving city pensions.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #103  
Old 01-20-2018, 05:37 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

IDAHO

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...tate-pension-/

Quote:
Idaho’s PERSI the ‘envy’ of most other state pension plans

Spoiler:
Idaho’s Public Employee Retirement System is the envy of most other states, with strong investment earnings and a stable funding position, state lawmakers were told Friday.

When Director Don Drum told the Idaho Legislature’s joint budget committee on Friday that “This has been a really good 18 months for PERSI,” some committee members laughed at the understatement. The PERSI fund had a return of 12.7 percent on its investments in the 2017 fiscal year, which allowed it to reconsider a previously proposed rate increase. that fiscal year ended June 30.

And, Drum reported, “As of close of business last night, we had a 10.2 percent return for this fiscal year.”

The PERSI fund is now worth a whopping $17.9 billion.

“I did calculate what it would take to get our amortization period below 10 years,” Drum told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. “And if we finish the year with somewhere between 11.5 and 12 percent return, our amortization should drop below 10 years, so that’ very good.”

He added, “At end of year, we were 89.6 percent funded. At close of business yesterday we were close to 95 percent funded. So we’re having a very good year. We had a really good year last year.”

PERSI has about 149,000 members, including active and inactive public employees, at both the state and local government level, who have paid into the system and retirees.


http://publicplansdata.org/quick-fac...lan/?ppd_id=31
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #104  
Old 01-20-2018, 05:39 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

KENTUCKY

http://www.wave3.com/story/37307472/...-bill-in-sight
Quote:
Still no Kentucky pension bill in sight
Spoiler:
FRANKFORT, KY (CNHI) - The plan was for the Kentucky General Assembly to have pension reform passed and out of the way long before now.

Instead, we're 12 days into the 2018 session and no bill has yet seen the light of the day.

Last Tuesday, Governor Matt Bevin revealed his budget proposals to the legislature, a budget that calls for spending $3.3 billion over the next two years in order to shore up Kentucky's badly underfunded public pension systems.

>> More Political news on wave3.com

That budget also calls for cuts throughout most of state government, including in education from kindergarten through college, to pay for those larger pension contributions.

Bevin, Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, and then House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, unveiled a draft pension bill in October, but the reaction opposing some cutback of benefits was swift and loud.

House Republicans began working on changes to the bill, but they were sidetracked by a sexual harassment scandal which brought about Hoover's resignation as Speaker and divided House Republicans -- both among themselves and for some with Bevin.

That scuttled a planned end of the year special session to enact pension reform so it wouldn't bog down the regular session which must address a new budget.

Friday, no bill had been filed, and Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, who has taken over operation of the House from Hoover, said he doesn't know when a bill will be filed.

Osborne said House Republican leaders "have met with the Senate and had several conversations about different scenarios. We've requested some new information from the (pension) systems and we hope that will be back in a couple of days."

There's a growing sense that as the Republican House leaders have weakened or removed some of the provisions in the original October draft bill which angered teachers, state workers and retirees, they've also reduced the cost savings which those provisions offered.

Earlier this week, Osborne declined to speculate on savings from any proposed changes, but he said Wednesday rumors the latest version offers no savings "are inaccurate."

Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, thinks Republicans are in too much of a rush to reform a system which was "reformed" in 2008 and again in 2013 and which hasn't been given sufficient time to work.

Adkins commended Bevin for budgeting the full contributions (called the ARC or actuarially required contributions) to pensions in his budget proposal, but the Democrat says there seems little advantage to moving new hires to 401(k) type plans rather than defined benefit or the cash-hybrid plans now employed.

He points to other states which switched to such defined contribution plans but failed to see much savings, prompting a couple of states to reverse course.

RELATED STORIES ON WAVE3.COM
+ COLUMN: Pension reform needed, but not at the cost of our children
+ Lawmakers discuss proposed budget cuts
+ Here are the 70 programs cut from Bevin's budget

"I think if we fully fund the ARC, and if we continue the reforms of 2008 and 2013, those reforms will pay off," Adkins said. "My recommendation is that we fully fund the ARC but stick to what we've got."

While Osborne remains committed to passing a pension bill, he's also on board with Bevin and Adkins about fully funding the cost of the pension systems. He also is keenly aware of the need to find that money elsewhere in the budget because he doesn't think it's likely lawmakers can successfully address pension reform, a new state budget, and tax reform in one session.

"The cuts are severe, and they're difficult," Osborne said. "We're trying to manage those as thoughtfully as we can. But not funding the pension system is just not an option."


http://weku.fm/post/when-pension-ref...tion-frankfort
Quote:
When a Pension Reform Bill Will be Filed Remains a Question in Frankfort

Spoiler:
With just under three weeks of Kentucky legislative activity on the books, leaders of the General Assembly remain unsure when action on pension reforms will occur. No pension bill has been filed thus far in the House or Senate.

Listen Listening...1:02
Senate President Robert Stivers said Friday he hoped the issue would have been resolved back in October. The Manchester Republican says he’s not prepared to act on a bill, until all the financial implications are calculated. “This component may affect 10,000 people. This component may affect 44,000 people. Different things affect different people because there’s different tiers between in the different systems. And the systems themselves are different, when you talk about the K system versus the T system.”

Stivers is referring to the teacher retirement system versus the Kentucky employee retirement system.

House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne was asked today if it’s possible a pension vote could run up against action on a new two-year state budget. “It is possible certainly, but I would hope that we would have that done before we get to the budget,” said Osborne Friday.

Both Osborne and Stivers said they expect significant action on pension reforms before the current legislative session ends.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #105  
Old 01-20-2018, 05:40 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/i...ging_managers/

Quote:
Pension Fund Showdown Highlights Gaps

Spoiler:
A quest to better fund city cop and firefighter pensions collided with a quest to hire more female and minority-owned investment firms, putting two unrelated issues on the same table.

The collision occurred Thursday at the monthly meeting of trustees for the Policemen & Firemen’s Pension Fund in City Hall.

At the meeting, representatives for the police and fire unions tried to block a proposal to recruit smaller investment firms to manage their retirement accounts — at least, until the city deposits the rest of this year’s payment to the pension fund.

The move was a gambit, essentially, using small businesses that are often owned by minorities, women and veterans as a bargaining chip to spur the city to pay now.

The two issues are unrelated: When the city makes its payments to shore up the fund has little to do with who then invests the money. But the union reps tried to tie them together. By tacking an amendment onto a new “emerging manager” policy, they tried to force the city to cough up nearly $9 million in promised contributions that it hadn’t produced as the state’s budget crisis thinned their cash reserves.

The maneuver failed in a 3-2 vote that split along racial lines, with the two white union reps who serve as fund trustees voting against the mayor and two African-American trustees.

An Emerging Strategy
“Emerging managers,” as they’re known in the investing field, are smaller firms that don’t yet have a track record of managing funds for public agencies and other large clients. The Harp administration is seeking to actively recruit more of them, diversifying the multi-manager system that divvies up pension investments. Mayor Toni Harp learned about that strategy at a national pension conference last year.

At Thursday’s City Hall meeting, trustees for the Police & Fire Pension Fund (P&F) suggested adding new language that says emerging managers should be considered in any new hiring. Defined as firms with less than $3 billion in assets or a shorter track record, those emerging mangers wouldn’t be allowed to manage more than 20 percent of the fund. Similar language was adopted last June by the City Employees Retirement Fund (CERF).

“Morgan Stanley does not have the full Rolodex,” Controller Darryl Jones said. “It’s our responsibility to go out and find these emerging managers. At the end of the day, I’ve seen only two women walk in here in four years. And how much money has been doled out in the last four years? I personally believe women think differently and could do a better job.”

Emerging managers, often racial minorities, women or former service-members, are routinely overlooked by public pensions. Even if the money manager personally has a long résumé, trustees fret about the risk of a turning over millions in public funds to an untested company.

But several white papers on emerging managers say they generally outperform their larger peers. Quantitatively, they’re more likely to win higher returns, especially in a bear market.

Northern Trust Global Advisors, a financial-services company, for instance, found that from 2005 to 2010, as the Great Recession hit, firms managing less than $3.6 billion in assets gained 0.67 percent each year from their large-cap equities, while the S&P 500 index was down -0.80 percent over the same period. That rate of return beat out the household names managing more than $124 billion, who roughly broke even.

The real difference, Northern Trust’s analyst found, was that emerging managers outperformed the markets by an average of 0.72 percent during quarters when stocks went down — far ahead of the 0.22 percent average that the big firms notched in those bad months.

Northern Trust’s study also put the difference another way: If fund managers of all sizes are ranked by performance, the emerging managers make up 44 percent of the top quartile and 28 percent of the bottom quartile, even though they make up 36 percent of the total pool. In other words, they’re more likely to be among the top money-makers and less likely to be among the losers.

Other studies, though, suggest that the higher returns are almost a form of beginner’s luck. In a 2009 study, researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of California at Irvine found that the emerging managers do best in their first year, earning 4.31 percent above than the market index. But the gains wear off, dropping to 1.10 percent by the second year.

Anecdotally, reviewers explain, the emerging managers make more money because they’re creative in their picks, nimble in their staffing, and ambitious in their plans. They have something to prove that the big guys don’t, and because of their size, the employees often take home a bigger chunk of the commission doing it, adding a personal incentive to strike it rich.

That has led reputable pensions like CalSTRS, CalPERS and the Teachers Retirement System of Texas to create platforms for emerging managers.

While New Haven’s policies don’t explicitly prohibit emerging managers, the current investment guidelines state that applicants should be judged on their past experience, financial resources and staffing levels. In practice, that has meant that smaller firms often don’t get to make their pitch — even though the P&F fund could sorely use some strong returns.

Underfunded for Years

The city has money to cover only 43 percent of what it owes cops and firefighters.

Created in 1958, New Haven’s pension for public safety employees is underfunded, both in the short and long terms, like many public pension funds.

Decades from now, the P&F fund won’t have enough money to pay out what employees are being promised, without more investment. According to a June 2016 valuation, the P&F fund meets only 43.2 percent of its liabilities — way down, just in the last decade, from covering 60.6 percent in mid-2008.

In dollars, the city is $398.3 million short on what it owes cops and firefighters. That’s more than halfway to New Haven’s debt limit of $749.1 million in unfunded pension liabilities, which represents three times the tax base.

That type of encroaching debt bankrupted Detroit and Stockton, cut retirees’ benefits in small towns in Alabama and Rhode Island, and threatened to bust Texas’s biggest cities.

New Haven’s P&F fund has been bleeding out money while not delivering substantial returns. In 2015, the fund managers barely scraped together $410,000 in profits, while charging $171,000 in administrative expenses. In 2016, the fund managers lost $5.6 million on the markets, while charging $184,000 in administrative expenses.

Meanwhile, actuaries continue to move the city’s expected payout higher and higher. Recently, seeing the minimal profits, they lowered the expected rate of returns to a more conservative 7.75 percent. And, based on a review of six years of employee time-sheets, they estimated overtime will drive up costs further than expected.

This year the city allocated extra funds to start paying down that gap. Of the $15.6 million in increased revenue the city expected this year, the budget devoted more than half — $8.7 million, or 56 percent — to pension increases.

But so far, the city hasn’t had the cash on hand to make its full budgeted annual payment of $34.6 million to the P&F fund. “The situation changed, when we lost roughly $5 million in our aid from the state. We’re looking at ways to meet our obligations, not only to the pension but to everything else in the city,” Controller Jones explained. The city paid most of what’s owed, but about $9 million is still due by the end of the fiscal year.

That angered some public safety employees, their union representatives said. Jones told them not to worry. He cited the city’s track record of following through on actuaries’ recommended contribution every year since 1995, and said the city will do the same in the next six months before the year is out.

“Social Cause” or “Business Decision”

Police union rep Brian McDermott, at left, faces off against Mayor Toni Harp.

The union representatives said during Thursday’s meeting that they they wanted a guarantee, something “a little more stringent,” with “some checks and balances in place,” as Patrick Cannon, the fire union rep, phrased it. He suggested amending the new emerging manager policy to say the P&F fund can’t hire an emerging manager until the city deposits its full contribution.

“By lowering the standards of where our investments go, I’m concerned,” Cannon said. “I want to make sure that we don’t violate our fiduciary responsibility. We don’t want to change our guidelines and fall asleep at the switch here. Minorities, women, veterans, they’re a great cause, and I want to make sure we’re clear that we’re not lowering the guidelines for asset management, like the years of experience, for a social cause.”

Brian McDermott, the police union rep, said that he’d been hearing complaints from officers that the trustees were prioritizing the wrong issues.

“Police officers I’m here to represent bluntly say, ‘This is what you’re worried about? Money managers who make a lot?’” he said. “How do I look to these men and women of the police department, who know that we’re short, that the city hasn’t made its full contribution, that the pension is woefully underfunded, and say that’s what we spent our energy on in this meeting is investment managers who make three or four times what the highest NHPD officer makes? I’m concerned about them, and I’ll work very hard for the people I’ve been voted here to represent.” He added that the trustees shouldn’t be “looking out for Wall Street fat cats, instead of police and fire.”

Mayor Harp countered that Cannon’s amendment had nothing to do with the policy. “They don’t comport with one another,” she said. If the trustees voted to fire a manager and reinvest elsewhere, the opportunity to apply should be open to smaller firms, regardless of whether the city’s check has cleared, she argued. “It’s just allowing them in the door,” she said.

Police Commissioner Evelise Ribeiro added that trustees had a responsibility to hire the manager who could make the most money. “I heard the word ‘social cause,’ and I disagree with that term. I don’t think by looking at emerging managers, this is a social cause. It’s a business decision,” she said. “Just that, period.”

Joined by Fire Commissioner Rev. Steven Cousin, Harp and Ribeiro voted against Cannon’s amendment, shooting it down in a 2-3 vote. Then they passed the emerging manager policy, 3 to 2.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #106  
Old 01-20-2018, 05:41 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA

http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scr...nues-1.2292425

Quote:
Scranton pension fund rebound continues

Spoiler:
Aided by another strong year of investment returns, Scranton’s composite pension fund had assets of $75.2 million as of last week, an increase of roughly $1 million over the prior month’s value, according to the funds’ financial adviser.

The fund, which consists of the police, fire and nonuniform pension plans, reaped about $8.7 million on investments in 2017, for a 14.1 percent rate of return, Mark Yasenchak of PFM Asset Management said at a composite pension board meeting earlier this week. That’s more than double the $3.05 million, or 6.7 percent investment return, the fund saw in 2016.

The increase in assets continues an upward trend of the past several years. The fund had assets of $50.7 million as of Jan. 1, 2015, according to the biannual Act 205 report the funds’ actuary sends to the state auditor general’s office. That grew to $61.5 million as of Jan. 1, 2017.

The huge spike to start 2018 comes compliments of the city’s deposit of its required contribution, known as the minimum municipal obligation, of $18.8 million Dec. 18. About $3.6 million of the total was covered by state aid. The remaining $15.2 million came from the general fund.

That’s all good news, and it’s set to get better once the fund receives the $22.9 million in sewer system sale proceeds the city earmarked for pensions.

The sewer sale money is currently held in an interest-bearing account the city controls. City officials and the composite pension board are in the process of finalizing the transfer of the funds into a trust account that will be set up by the composite board.

The pension board Wednesday approved the creation of the trust fund, which was the final remaining obstacle to the transfer. Several administrative issues still need to be resolved, but board members said they’re hopeful the transfer will be finalized by February or March.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #107  
Old 01-21-2018, 01:00 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

CALIFORNIA
https://medium.com/@DavidGCrane/cali...n-bdbd46a0454c

Quote:
California’s Own Shutdown
Schools are open but shelves are barren.
Spoiler:
Everyone can see the federal shutdown is reducing some public services but California legislators are turning a blind eye to their state’s own shutdown. Public schools in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose and other urban centers are providing just a fraction of full services, resulting in understaffed classrooms, underpaid teachers, and fewer arts, science, math, and other classroom offerings. One result is that the poor and minority students that make up a large share of those urban districts underperform poor and minority students in other states that spend much less per student.

The cause of the CA shutdown is exploding spending by school districts on pensions and other retirement costs. Because of that explosion, this year San Francisco will devote only 29 percent of its budget to certificated teacher salaries, LAUSD’s budget doesn’t qualify for a Positive Certification from the state and is headed towards diverting half of its budget from classrooms by 2031, Oakland is cutting services to erase a deficit, and San Diego is asking parents for advice about which of their kids’ services to cut. Even rich suburban districts in Marin County are shifting resources from classrooms because of rising retirement costs.


2018–19 Governor’s Budget

2018–19 Governor’s Budget
Normally California school districts hit rough financial waters during recessions but the reductions today are happening during an economic recovery and despite a bull market, 30 percent tax increase, 65% increase in spending over the last seven years, and spending per student of more than $16,000 projected in the next fiscal year. The problem is that an ever-larger share of that spending is being grabbed by fast-rising pension and other retirement costs before it can get to classrooms. Just imagine the consequences when the economic recovery takes a pause.

At his recent budget press conference Governor Brown expressed the view that the state had done its part for K-12 education by enacting the “Local Control Funding Formula” formula (see the 14 minute mark here). But that isn’t true. Local school boards cannot reform pensions without legislation approved by a majority of the legislature (62 members) and signed by the governor. Likewise, school boards cannot modify teacher tenure and dismissal rules without the approval of those 63 people in Sacramento. That’s because school districts operate in a straitjacket imposed by the state’s Education Code. One result is that school districts are unable to terminate the employment of next to none of the state’s 300,000 teachers. Needless to say, virtually every enterprise needs to terminate the employment of some number of employees each year. Not every employee is a fit for the job. But under current law, California public schools cannot do what every other enterprise — legislators and governors, corporations and unions, for-profits and non-profits — can do. The consequences of that straitjacket fall on innocent kids.

Perhaps it would help if more of California’s elected officials sent their children to urban public schools. Either way, those elected officials should recognize that they are responsible for an effective shutdown that impacts the most vulnerable students in their state. All it takes is 63 people in Sacramento to end that shutdown.
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #108  
Old 01-21-2018, 01:01 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

ILLINOIS
http://www.nwherald.com/2018/01/18/o...issue/a4xwus7/
Quote:
Our view: Candidates must face pension issue
Spoiler:
Illinois’ pension liability lies at the heart of most of the state’s financial problems.

Pension spending consumes almost 20 percent of the state’s $36 billion budget, and the state pension systems’ unfunded liabilities are estimated at more than $200 billion.


Given the way this massive liability is suffocating the state financially, you might expect that it would be a central issue in the upcoming campaign for Illinois governor.

You’d be wrong. Of the five leading major-party candidates for governor, only one of them even devotes a section of his campaign website to pensions.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign website goes heavy after his nemesis, Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan, but scarcely mentions pensions.

Republican challenger Rep. Jeanne Ives’ website goes heavy after Rauner. It doesn’t address pensions, either, which is odd considering Ives served on the Personnel & Pensions Committee in the state House.

The three leading candidates for the Democratic nomination have little to say on the topic, either. Candidate J.B. Pritzker doesn’t mention pensions on his campaign website.

Daniel Biss’ website pushes the idea that Illinois’ budget problems are because wealthy people don’t pay enough in taxes. He never mentions the state’s extravagant promise to provide pensions with a 3 percent annual increase and free health care to people who can retire in their 50s.

Chris Kennedy at least addresses the pension issue, but doesn’t say much beyond “we need to reassure current workers that the state will fully fund their pensions.”

With $200 billion in unfunded pension liability, it’s hard to see how Illinois can afford to make any guarantees.

Lawmakers already have whacked taxpayers with a 32 percent income tax increase, which is not going to solve Illinois’ problems. In fact, there is no practical amount of increased taxation on any group of people or businesses that will get Illinois pensions to full funding.

We would like the gubernatorial candidates to tell us, should more of the pension burden be shifted onto local governments? Should those governments be allowed to declare bankruptcy and then make changes to benefits?

Others have floated the idea of Illinois seeking a massive loan to pay the outstanding liability – which would cost us but not as dearly. Is this a good idea? Maybe pensioners can be incentivized to get out of the system with lump-sum cash payments. Good idea?

Should Illinois consider taxing retirement income? Should voters be asked about calling a constitutional convention where pensions and issues such as the state’s repeated budget failures, term limits and gerrymandering could be addressed?

If the answer to all of these questions is “no,” then what should Illinois do? The numbers say the status quo is not sustainable, and that people are leaving the state. If the pension systems collapse, it will be a disaster for thousands of retirees.

Illinois’ next governor will not have the luxury of hoping the pension problems simply will resolve themselves. The candidates must address this issue for voters.

__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #109  
Old 01-21-2018, 01:01 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

NEW JERSEY
https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...n-bills-in-nj/
Quote:
New Pension Bills in NJ
Spoiler:
New Jersey has a new legislature and a spate of pension bills have been introduced. Most are good-government initiatives that have no chance of adoption (listed at bottom of this blog) but one reform that Christie vetoed might have legs, per nj.com:


6. Firefighter & police pension spinoff
A bill (S5) turning over management of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System to the members has already been reintroduced this session by Sweeney and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., R-Union.

The bill passed with strong bipartisan support over the objections of those who warned spinning off management of the pension fund but not the liabilities would put taxpayers at risk.

Christie warned in his conditional veto that the taxpayers would have to pick up the tab if the fund went south.

“I understand that police and firefighters … have concerns with the fiscal health of the pensions systems. I share them,” Christie said. “But I refuse to repeat the mistakes of prior governors and Legislatures who enacted pension legislation without ensuring appropriate safeguards for taxpayers nor securing significant concessions from labor.”

He wanted to add language limiting the compensation police and firefighters can receive upon their retirement for unused sick and vacation time, which labor leaders said was an attempt to kill the bill.

Under the legislation, a board of trustees would have managed the fund and could change members’ contributions to their pensions, the formula for determining payouts and retirement age. They could also enhance or cut benefits.

The Division of Pensions and Benefits currently manages the fund, while the State Investment Council directs the investments.

Among the notable language from the bill:

The Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System may adjust the monthly retirement allowance or pension of its retired members in accordance with subsection b. of section 13 of P.L.1944, c.255 (pages 2-3)

Nothing in the provisions of P.L. , c. (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be interpreted to diminish the non-forfeitable right to benefits provided to any member of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System under State law or affirmed by a ruling or holding of a court in the Judiciary Branch of State government. (page 4)

The board may, in its discretion and at such time and in such manner as the board determines, enhance any benefit set forth in P.L.1944, c.255 (C.43:16A-1 et seq.) as the board determines to be reasonable and appropriate or modify any such benefit as an alternative to an increase in the member contribution rate, which increase the board determines to be reasonable, necessary, and appropriate, or reinstate, when appropriate, such reduced benefit to the statutory level without an additional contribution by the member. The board shall act exclusively on behalf of the contributing employers, active members of the retirement system, and retired members as the fiduciary of the system. The primary obligation of the board shall be to direct policies and investments to achieve and maintain the full funding and continuation of the retirement system for the exclusive benefit of its members. (page 16)

The board of trustees shall have authority to invest and reinvest the moneys in, and to acquire for or on behalf of the funds of, the board. The board shall formulate and establish, and may from time to time amend, modify, or repeal, such policies, objectives or guidelines as it may deem necessary and proper to govern the decisions, actions, methods, practices, or procedures for investment, reinvestment, purchase, sale, or exchange transactions of the board. (page 21)

The board of trustees, after consultation with the actuary, may apply an adjustment to the monthly retirement allowance or pension originally granted to any member. (pages 24-25)

The board of trustees shall have the discretionary authority to modify the conditions and standards for the purchase of service credit for death benefits. (page 25)

An Actuary Committee of no less than three members to assist in the selection and oversight of the actuary appointed by the board of trustees. The Actuary Committee shall review the performance of the actuary appointed by the board of trustees. If the performance of the actuary is not adequate in quality, the committee shall recommend such steps as may be necessary to elicit appropriate performance, including replacement of the actuary. (page 27)

The board of trustees is authorized to make an adjustment to the uniform contribution rate of the members set forth in this subsection as the board deems reasonable, necessary, and appropriate after consultation with, and the recommendation of, the actuary. Any adjustment to a contribution rate shall be made at such time and in such manner as the board shall determine. (page 29)

Other bills:

A149 Expands scope of review of Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission.
A186 Prohibits dual government employment and office holding; requires pension forfeiture by convicted elected officials; bans use of campaign funds for criminal defense costs; revises legislative conflict of interest standards.
A235 Suspends pension of any retired public employee who resumes public employment with compensation more than $15,000.
A575 Prohibits investment by State of pension and annuity funds in hedge funds and derivative contracts.
A762 Caps at 35 percent share of State public employee pension and annuity funds portfolio that may be invested in combination of hedge funds, private equity, commodities, and real estate.
A847 Provides that public employee pension benefits are calculated on base salary exclusive of various forms of extra compensation.
A856 Bars certain employees of certain public agencies from participating in PERS; repeals law permitting PERS and TPAF members on leave who work for labor organization to purchase pension credit.
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #110  
Old 01-21-2018, 01:01 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: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

NEW YORK
https://nypost.com/2018/01/20/thousa...k-in-pensions/
Quote:
Thousands of retired NY teachers rake in more than $100K in pensions
Spoiler:
The number of educators banking six-figure annual pensions in New York state surged 23 percent last year, according to a report.

More than 3,000 retirees drew pensions of more than $100,000 in 2017, according to data compiled by the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Forty-six retirees bagged more than $200,000 — including Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who collected $215,582 on top of her yearly $233,430 city salary. She began receiving pension checks upon retiring in 2006 after a 40-year career in city schools.


Nine educators received pensions of more than $300,000 and five drew more than $400,000.

The pension king continues to be Edgar McManus, 93, a retired Queens College history professor who raked in $561,286 last year. The Manhattan resident retired in February 2012 after more than 50 years on the job. His final salary was $116,364.

The second-biggest pension, $436,391, went to DOE employee Mary E. O’Brien, who retired in July 2012.

“We can’t say exactly what was responsible for the jump, but it’s a trend we’ve seen across the state where taxpayers are on the hook for an increasing number of six-figure pensions,” Empire Center analyst Ken Girardin told The Post.

Unlike many pensions from private companies, public pensions in the city and the state “aren’t fixed and often rise from cost-of-living adjustments,” Girardin said.

Factoring in his World War II military service, McManus, who called it quits at 88, was credited with 61 years of service.

McManus, a widower who turns 94 in March, is beating the odds.

“I must have disappointed them. They thought I was going to die on the spot,” he told The Post last week.

“Everybody enjoys being Number 1,” he said. “It’s better than being Number 2, isn’t it?”
__________________
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 11:47 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 0.34978 seconds with 10 queries