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State and local government pensions tout their ability to couple generous, guaranteed benefits for public employees with low and stable contributions from taxpayers. In reality, the risks that public pensions pose to taxpayers and government budgets have multiplied by a factor of 10 over the past four decades.
Pension underfunding has dominated the media and created significant concerns for state lawmakers as they struggle to bring their fiscal houses in order.
At this event, panelists will address pension reform challenges by presenting the results of three research papers commissioned by AEI through a generous grant from the Smith Richardson Foundation.
Those who follow the debate over fair-market valuation of public pension liabilities are aware that economists argue for using lower discount rates to value public pension liabilities but often are unaware of why economists believe what they do. This paper aims to better articulate those beliefs.
For a wide variety of reasons, many states and municipalities are turning a critical eye toward their employee retirement plans. As various parties debate the merits of different reform measures, it is important to keep in mind that in many states, the law limits potential reform options.
Current public pension valuation practice provides information on the expected costs associated with funding future benefits, which is relevant to policymakers and taxpayers. This paper argues that current practice is a better approach to measuring pension liability than is a theoretical market-based method.
Andrew Biggs finds that the real value of unfunded pension liabilities for Missouri's five largest pensions is close to $54billion - far higher than the $11.1 billion officially reported. This liability, which amounts to nearly $9,000 for every man, woman, and child in the state, potentially can make all other budgetary issues facing the state look small in comparison.
This event will feature a presentation from Carl DeMaio, who — as a member of the San Diego City Council — championed the pension initiative and now seeks to apply its lessons nationwide.
GASB rules cause U.S. public pensions both to vastly understate their true liabilities and to take excessive investment risk, putting in danger both government budgets and the economy as a whole. With pension liabilities breathing down the necks of state and local governments around the nation, it is time for bond rating agencies to expose what GASB rules sweep under the rug.
In this conference, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, mental health and disability experts, and an economist will discuss current hurdles to rehabilitation, and suggest alternatives that could more effectively expedite the reintegration of veterans into their families, communities, and workplaces.
Please join Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA), AEI, the Heritage Foundation, and the Foreign Policy Initiative for a timely discussion on the 2014 QDR and the future of American defense strategy in an era of constrained budgets.
This event is livestream only.
AEI’s Philanthropic Freedom Project welcomes Bill Gates for an exclusive event at AEI.