Reports of Interest



"Public Sector Pensions: How Well Funded Are They, Really?"By: Andrew G Biggs for State Budget Solutions, July 2012.


Biggs takes a look at pension fund data using economists’ accepted methods to conclude that public pension funds' actual liability is greatly understated.  He finds that the average US plan is only 41% funded and that total unfunded liabilities through 2011 are about $4.6 trillion - more than 5 times the official estimate.  His explains in terms easily understood the accounting methods of these funds and shows that using the old GASB accounting methods, as of mid-2011, liabilities were underfunded by about $885 billion.  However, he states, using fair market valuation as required for private sector pension funds shows that the unfunded liabilities as of 2011 total around the $4.6 trillion mentioned above.  



"Defined Benefit Pension Plans Recent Developments Highlight Challenges of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Investing" U.S. Government Accountability Office, February 2012


The GAO issued a comprehensive report that identifies issues that are relevant to the recent changes in investments of the GA Employee Retirement System funds - namely 'Alternative Investments' specified in SB 402 that went into effect July 1, 2012.  The report addresses three issues to assess the effects of these types of investments by pension plans:  recent lessons learned, the response to the lessons learned, and the steps taken by federal agencies to help plan sponsors to make and manage these investments.   The report describes, in terms easily understood, hedge fund and private equity investments and how the financial downturns and challenges encountered by plans invested in these investments affected pension funds.  



"PENSIONS AND RETIREMENT PLAN ENACTMENTS IN 2011 STATE LEGISLATURES" National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), January 2012


This report summarizes selected state pensions and retirement legislation enacted in 2011. Its goal is to help researchers and policy makers know how other states have addressed issues that could arise in any state. In keeping with that goal, the report excludes most clean-up legislation, cost-of-living adjustments, administrative procedures and technical amendments.  This report is organized according to the topics that legislatures addressed in 2011. 



2007 Compensation & Benefits Study  State Personnel Administration (formerly State Merit System), March 21, 2007



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