Category Archives: Blog

Illinois Must Get Serious About Its Pension Problem

The Illinois State Capitol, located in Springfield, Illinois, is the building that houses the executive and legislative branches of the government of the U.S. state of Illinois.

A Fitch Ratings report released in December illuminated the growing pension burden facing Prairie state pensioners. Illinois’s net pension liabilities totaled $151.5 billion at the end of the 2016 year. This cost is increasing year-over-year and elected officials continue allowing the burden to grow rather than deal with the problem.

If it was … Read More

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Former State Treasurer Burnham is correct – pensions should avoid politics

The former Connecticut state treasurer, Christopher Burnham, wrote an opinion piece in The Hill on Sunday titled “Pensions should avoid politics and invest for the benefit of our workers.” Burnham described his views on the growing activist calls to divestment pension funds from certain industries. During his tenure as Connecticut’s state treasurer, Burnham was the sole fiduciary of the then $16 billion pension system. Later, Burnham served as the general of the United Nations as the sole fiduciary … Read More

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Kentucky’s Growing Pension Pain

There is a growing gap between pension obligations and outstanding liabilities. This is a concern for retired public servants relying on a comfortable pension fund to sustain their future. Inaction on part of lawmakers to close the gap is unacceptable. Kentucky is an example of a state with a mismanaged pension crisis. The annual report revealed that the five pension plans that make up the Kentucky Retirement System increased from $21.17 to $26.75 billion in the last fiscal year. The … Read More

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The Frightening Truth About Illinois Pension Funds

Illinois pensioners are facing a haunting reality this Halloween: pension funds are suffering from a 50% under funding burden that is weighing heavily on local and state government budgets. Bond Buyer reports in just one-year public pension liabilities grew by over $17 billion between fiscal year 2015 to 2016.

Illinois published a report by the Public Pension Division of the Illinois Department of Insurance that provides a comprehensive analysis of the 671 public pension funds in the state. The results … Read More

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Stand Up to Outstanding Pension Liabilities

Funding for local, state, and federal public pension plans are in a downward trend, creating billions of dollars in outstanding liabilities. Pensions & Investments recently released reported on the top 100 public pension plans, in which the findings are alarming. Even as contributions increase, the funding gap is also seeing year-over-year increases. As the executive vice president and the director of capital markets research at Callan Associates Inc., Jay V. Kloepfer said, “It’s not enough contributions. That’s it. There … Read More

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Investment Expert Reports Pension Underfunding Crisis in America

A recent study published by the respected Chairman of J.P. Morgan’s Market and Investment Strategy, Michael Cembalest, evaluates the current pension-funding deficit across the U.S. State and local governments are trending towards inadequate funding for pensions obligations. However, this kick-the-can approach is running out of road and someone needs to pick up the tab. Pension fund forecasts are misguided by over realisticreturns that create a wide gap between assumption and reality leaving pensions and taxpayers to pay the burden of … Read More

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Pension Funding Shortcomings Mean Large Tax Hikes

Author and syndicated columnist Dr. Glenn Mollette recently opined on the state of the U.S. pension system where he accurately described the country’s mounting pension funding struggles. Without adequate pension fund returns, the instability of our pension system forces our nation’s retirees back into the workforce. Dr. Mollette described the aging workforce in entry-level positions to get a paycheck in order to make due. This sad reality for some seniors becomes commonplace when pension funds are not adequately funded. It … Read More

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States Over Promise and Under Fund Pension Plans

Pension plans are a guaranteed promise to retirees that dedicate to a career in public service. Many individuals and families depend on these pension plans as means for retirement. For theses thousands of individuals and families relying on the public service package, it is unsettling to find the majority of state pension plans are not adequately funded. In 2016, Kentucky funding ratio is at 30.9 percent with a total pension liability of $243.6 billion. The widening gap in pension … Read More

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The Dangers of Ideological Investing

Millions of retired state employees have dedicated their lives working for the promised pension funds that come with a lifetime of public service. The Los Angeles Daily News Editorial Board recently wrote a piece on the harm of politicizing state pension funds. The article highlights the negative impacts that ideological investment decisions have on pension funds.

The California legislature passed the Public Divestiture of Thermal Coal Companies Act of 2015 that mandated California Public Employees’ (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ … Read More

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Our States’ Hidden Budget Deficit

A hidden deficit exists in most state budgets. This large, and almost always, overlooked gap in our budget goes without much criticism from our local elected officials due to a lack of leadership in dealing with the bloating dilemma. The problem? Outstanding pension liabilities. Rather than fixing the problem, politicians prefer a “kick the can down the road” approach to dealing with the unfunded pension liabilities. It is past due that we forget this practice and begin to protect the … Read More

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