Public Pension Plans Actuarial E-Guide: Media Coverage

Pension Reform Newsletter - March 2016
April 12, 2016
Reason Foundation
Academy President Tom Wildsmith is featured in the “Quotable Quotes on Pension Reform.”
 
Actuaries Welcome Discussion of Meaningful Disclosures for Public Employee Pension Plans
March 28, 2016
Life & Health Advisor
The Academy’s news release on public employee pension plan disclosures was highlighted.
 
Shining light on government pensions
March 24, 2016
Bankrate.com
Academy President Tom Wildsmith and Senior Pension Fellow Ted Goldman are both quoted regarding the importance of meaningful disclosures for public employee pension plans, providing more context to the recent reintroduction of the PEPTA bill.
 
PERSI wants to address $20 million judicial pension shortfall — again
December 08, 2015
Watchdog.org
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is referenced in examining the funding challenges facing Idaho’s judicial pension fund, which has a funded ratio of 78 percent. The piece is one of many since the brief’s July 2012 release to have cited its call for pension plans to prioritize full funding.
 
Future military retirees in for controversial choice
October 16, 2015
BenefitsPro
Bill Hallmark, chairperson of the Public Plans Subcommittee, was quoted in a story that examines the potential discount rates that might be used in the new defense authorization bill passed by Congress allowing military personnel to take lump-sum payouts instead of traditional pensions.
 
Standard often cited in Kansas pension debates questioned
September 27, 2015
The Associated Press
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is cited in questioning the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System’s strategy to set an 80 percent funding goal.
 
Lincoln Park retirees sue: A breakdown of the lawsuit filed to reinstate health benefits
August 21, 2015
The News-Herald
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is cited in a story on a local public pension funding matter.
 
Standards Board Struggles With Pension Quagmire
July 10, 2015
New York Times
A story focused on hotly contested issues raised by speakers who testified at the ASB’s July 9 public hearing on public pension issues, in particular the selection of discount rates, the transparency and disclosures of risk to different stakeholders, and the responsibility of plans regarding contributions. The ASB interactively and professionally engaged through Q-and-A with all the speakers who testified at the hearing, and is objectively deliberating on the different perspectives raised in the oral and written comments to determine what, if any, changes might be needed to actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs).
 
How State Pension Systems Can Get Miscast By Studies
July 3, 2015
Columbus Business News
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is cited in a subscriber-only story examining potential flaws in how studies evaluate state pension systems.
 
Actuarial Standards Board to Hold Public Hearing Regarding Public Pension Issues July 9, 2015
July 1, 2015
Benefitslink.com
An announcement for the ASB’s July 9 public hearing on public pension issues.
 
CalPERS likely to fall short of annual investment goals
June 26, 2015
Los Angeles Times
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is cited in a story reporting that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System—the nation's biggest public pension fund—is only 77 percent funded and currently falling far short of its annual investment goals. The story points to the Academy’s analysis that pensions should set long-term goals of 100 percent funding or greater.
 
Riverside County pension funding still shaky
June 17, 2015
The Press-Enterprise
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is cited in an editorial pointing to the Academy’s analysis in urging financial discipline by county supervisors.
 
Police, Fire Pension Plan Growing, But Still Underfunded
April 30, 2015
Journal Star
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is cited in a story on a local public pension funding matter.
 
Pensions: "There's just something wrong when a 39-year-old can retire with a full pension.
April 20, 2015
Commercial Appeal
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst provided comments as part of a series examining ongoing pension funding issues in Memphis, Tenn.
 
McHenry County Towns Try To Tackle Climbing Fire, Police Pension Payments
April 2, 2015
Northwest Herald
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is cited in a story exploring options for closing a funding gap in local police pensions.
 
OPINION: Labor Perpetuates Pension Myth That 80 Percent Funding Goal Is OK
March 15, 2015
Contra Costa Times
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is cited in a column arguing that the myth’s persistence has aggravated the state system’s long-term funding challenges.
 
As more New Yorkers live longer, Gov. Cuomo seeks pension IOU
February 12, 2015
Bloomberg
Public Plans Subcommittee Chairperson Bill Hallmark is quoted in an article examining the impact of the updated SOA mortality scale on New York’s public pension plan.
 
Panel's retirement claims draw skepticism
February 7, 2015
Navy Times
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst commented on recommendations made in the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission’s new report on military retirement systems.
 
Provincial News: New report urges leaders to work together towards a sustainable pension system
February 3, 2015
NorthumberlandView.ca
The Academy’s assessment of the New Brunswick Shared Risk Model was cited by outlets in Canada.
 
New Brunswick Earns ‘A-’
January 13, 2015
Benefits and Pensions Monitor
The Academy’s assessment of the New Brunswick Shared Risk Model was cited by outlets in Canada.
 
Morneau Shepell : Government of New Brunswick shared risk pension plan model given highest marks by the American Academy of Actuaries
January 13, 2015
4-Traders
The Academy’s assessment of the New Brunswick Shared Risk Model was cited by outlets in Canada.
 
Experts Found the U.S. Retirement Fix. In Canada.
January 13, 2015
Bloomberg View
An op-ed asks how the U.S. retirement system might be able to move away from lower-ranked defined benefit and defined contribution plans toward higher ranked models such as the New Brunswick Shared Risk Model, as assessed under the Academy’s Retirement for the AGES initiative.
 
Actuaries give SDRS a B+
January 9, 2015
Rapid City (S.D.) Journal
The Academy’s assessment of the South Dakota Retirement System was cited by outlets in South Dakota.
 
South Dakota's State Retirement System Earns B+
January 9, 2015
Northern Plains News
The Academy’s assessment of the South Dakota Retirement System was cited by outlets in South Dakota.
 
Actuaries give SDRS a 'B+'
January 9, 2015
Pure Pierre (S.D.) Politics blog
The Academy’s assessment of the South Dakota Retirement System was cited by outlets in South Dakota.
 
Shared-risk model receives top marks
January 9, 2015
Benefits Canada
The Academy’s assessment of the New Brunswick Shared Risk Model was cited by outlets in Canada.
 
A new way to grade retirement systems
January 8, 2015
BenefitsPro
The principles put forward in the Academy’s new initiative, Retirement for the AGES, were reported.

Actuaries Grade Retirement Systems and Reform Proposals
January 8, 2015
Plan Adviser
The principles put forward in the Academy’s new initiative, Retirement for the AGES, were reported.
 
American Academy of Actuaries gives shared-risk model top retirement system grade
January 8, 2015
Pensions & Investments
The principles put forward in the Academy’s new initiative, Retirement for the AGES, were reported.
 
UC’s Pension Fiasco
January 5, 2015
National Review
An opinion piece critiquing the management of the University of California’s pension system quotes an Academy report in arguing that, in a well-run pension fund, contributions “should actually be contributed to the plan by the sponsor on a consistent basis.”
 
Tracey: The ticking financial time bomb of public pensions
September 30, 2014
Greenwich Time
The Academy’s issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, is cited in a column examining the sustainability of the public pension system in Stamford, Conn.
 
Memphis pension board votes to put assets in high-risk, high-reward investments
Aug 28, 2014
The Commercial Appeal
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst provided comments as part of a series examining ongoing pension funding issues in Memphis, Tenn.
 
Moody's views Scranton's $150M pension liability as actually closer to $250M
Aug 9, 2014
The Times-Tribune
The article examined the reasons behind differing estimates of Scranton’s unfunded pension liabilities.
 
OP-ED: What you should know about public pension crisis
Apr 2, 2014
The Mercury
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst commented on Pennsylvania’s pension reform efforts.
 
Dallas police-fire pension officials questioned ‘myth’ about funding, but report they cited adds doubt about its health
January 31, 2014
The Dallas Morning News
The Academy's issue brief, The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth, was highlighted.

Average Connecticut teacher retires with $47,000 pension
January 14, 2014
The Day
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst noted that “a good retirement benefit for a career teacher would be between 70 and 80 percent of salary because teachers do not receive Social Security benefits.”

How Detroit went broke: The answers may surprise you - and don't blame Coleman Young
September 15, 2013
Detroit Free Press
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst discussed Detroit’s pension funds. According to Fuerst, rising pension costs year after year are a “serious red flag” for a pension fund.

Ill. Governor to Legislators: No Pay Until You Fix Nation’s Worst Pension System
September 06, 2013
cnsnews.com

The Pension Practice Council’s July 2012 issue brief “The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth” was highlighted.

Public Pensions Up 12% Get Most in 2 Years as Stocks Soar
August 06, 2013
Bloomberg
Referenced the Pension Practice Council view in “The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth” that pensions should have a strategy to achieve or maintain 100 percent funding over a reasonable period of time.

Funded Status

August 01, 2013
Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System Blog
Cited the view of the Pension Practice Council’s July 2012 issue brief “The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth.”

Don’t blame pensioners for Detroit’s fiscal crisis

July 14, 2013
Detroit Free Press
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst discussed placing blame on workers for Detroit’s fiscal crisis. According to Fuerst, “In my opinion, it’s ridiculous to blame the retirees. He noted that “They’re not the ones who funded the plans — or didn’t fund the plans. It’s not their fault.”
 
Illinois pension reform - 101
May 11, 2013
Examiner.com
The insights of the Academy’s Pension Practice Council issue brief on “The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth” were discussed.
 
Legislators concerned about spiraling state pension obligations
January 24, 2013
Southern Connecticut’s The Day
The view of the Academy’s Pension Practice Council in its issue brief on “The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth” was referenced.
                                                                                                                            
Illinois: A long history of underfunded pensions
December 19, 2012
Chicagomag.com
The assertions in the Academy’s Pension Practice Council issue brief on “The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth” were referenced.
 
Note to Morningstar: municipal and state pension hemorrhage accelerating
November 30, 2012
Watchdog.org
The findings of the Academy’s Pension Practice Council issue brief on “The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth” were discussed.
 
Report: 21 states’ pension systems not fiscally sound
November 29, 2012
Governing
The Academy’s Pension Practice Council issue brief on “The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth” was mentioned.

More state pension plans cutting assumed return rates

July 23, 2012
Pensions & Investments
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst discussed the affect that new accounting rules could have on discount rate assumptions. Fuerst believes that the new rules will “put more rigor into how plans come up with these rates, and that's good.”
 
Wayne County taxpayers on hook for $600M as generous pensions drain fund
June 20, 2012
Detroit Free Press
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst discussed the unfunded status of Wayne County’s pension plan.
 
CBO: Change public pension accounting to fair-value method
May 8, 2011
aiCIO Magazine
Academy Pension Accounting Committee Chairperson Steve Alpert discussed how public pension plan funding would be affected by a move to a fair-value accounting approach.
 
Commentary: Let the sun shine in on public pensions, benefits
May 3/4, 2011
Investor's Business Daily
The Academy was mentioned for its efforts to design a standards framework to provide all stakeholders with a clear understanding of the long-term costs of public pension benefits. The Academy's board asked the Actuarial Standards Board in October 2008 to develop standards for consistently measuring the economic value of pension plan assets and liabilities.
 
Public retirees surge as states cut benefits to shrink deficits
April 19, 2011
Bloomberg
The Academy's Public Plans Subcommittee Chairperson Bill Hallmark discussed early retirement incentives' affect on public pension financing. Hallmark said that most early retirement incentives are unlikely to have a "significant impact" on pension systems' fiscal health because costs tend to be spread over time.
 
Commentary: Pension reforms do not go far enough
Jan. 31, 2011
Baltimore Sun 
The Academy Public Plan Practices Task Force's report, "Risk Management and Public Retirement Systems," was cited in an op-ed. As described in the commentary, the report said that "states need to identify conflicts of interest within the system, clearly establish rules to ensure adequate funding and educate administration officials and unions about the economic consequences of policy."
 
It's time for actuaries to stand up and be counted
Jan. 26, 2011
Watchdog.org
Academy President-elect David Sandberg discussed the Academy Public Plans Practices Task Force report on "Risk Management and Public Retirement Systems." Sandberg said that it is important for state and local officials to fully understand their risk exposure.
 
Actuary group reinforces call for consistent pension disclosures
Dec. 16, 2010
Plan Sponsor 
The Academy's Dec. 13 news release, which emphasized the importance of meaningful and consistent disclosures by public pension plans, was discussed. Academy President Mary Frances Miller and Academy President-elect Dave Sandberg were quoted from the news release.
 
'Moral hazard' key to state, municipal pension bankruptcy
Oct. 29, 2011
Watchdog.org
The Academy Public Plans Practices Task Force's report on "Risk Management and Public Retirement Systems" was discussed.

AAA task force lists public pension plan perils
Oct. 21, 2011
National Underwriter Life & Health 
The Academy Public Plans Practices Task Force's report on "Risk Management and Public Retirement Systems" was discussed.
 
Area communities are facing pension crisis
Oct. 3, 2010 
Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)
Academy Senior Pension Fellow Frank Todisco discussed how the economic recession affected public pension plans.
 
The illusion of pension savings
Sept. 17/18, 2010 
New York Times 
Academy Senior Pension Fellow Frank Todisco discussed the Actuarial Standards Board's efforts to clarify actuarial assumptions, which could lead to more detailed descriptions of risk facing public pension plans.
 
At what age will you retire?
Aug. 3, 2010
"The Takeaway" (produced in partnership with The New York Times, the BBC World Service and WNYC)
Academy Senior Pension Fellow Frank Todisco was a featured guest to discuss the retirement age for pension plans. Todisco said that as people are living longer, pension plans become more and more expensive to maintain.
 
GASB proposal could spark major changes
June 28, 2010
Pensions & Investments 
Academy Senior Pension Fellow Frank Todisco discussed the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Preliminary Views on Pension Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers.
 
Actuary group discusses GASB pension accounting changes
June 18, 2010
Plan Sponsor 
Academy Senior Pension Fellow Frank Todisco made several observations following the release of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Preliminary Views on Pension Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers.
 
Andrew Biggs: Public pensions cook the books
July 6, 2009
Wall Street Journal 
Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute and the former deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration cited the Academy Public Interest Committee's September 2008 report on public pension disclosures. The committee wrote that "it is in the public interest for retirement plans to disclose consistent measures of the economic value of plan assets and liabilities in order to provide the benefits promised by plan sponsors."
 
CNBC looks at public pensions
April 8, 2009
CNBC
Academy Senior Pension Fellow Frank Todisco appeared on three CNBC programs to explain the current condition of state and local pension plans as well as options to improve pension funding levels.
 
State pensions may be merged
April 5, 2009
The Gazette (Chicago)
The Academy's Public Plans Subcommittee Chairperson, Ken Kent, discussed the pros and cons of public pension plan consolidation.
 
Retirement systems hit by economic slump
March 23, 2009
Pensions & Investments 
Academy Senior Pension Fellow Frank Todisco discussed the recently released Federal Reserve Flow of Funds report. He said that all three retirement systems—both corporate and public defined benefit pension plans as well as private defined contribution plans—took hits in 2008 as a result of the economic downturn.
 
Actuarial group's new leader focuses on valuation
Nov. 7, 2008
Pensions & Investments 
Academy President John Parks was quoted from his inaugural address to the members during the Academy annual meeting. Parks said he was committed to looking at public pension plan disclosure issues and that the "Academy, along with the entire profession, will carefully measure the consequences and act in the public interest."
 
U.S. actuaries call for public plan consistency
Oct. 9, 2008
Global Pensions 
The Academy board of directors' decision to ask the Actuarial Standards Board to develop standards for consistently measuring the economic value of pension plan assets and liabilities was discussed.
 
Actuary group seeks pension plan accounting valuation
Oct. 7, 2008
Plan Sponsor 
The Academy board of directors' decision to ask the Actuarial Standards Board to develop standards for consistently measuring the economic value of pension plan assets and liabilities was discussed.
 
Pension of disbelief
Sept. 15, 2008
Washington Post 
The Academy Public Interest Committee's forum on public pension plan disclosures was discussed in an editorial. The Post's editorial board encouraged the actuaries and Governmental Accounting Standards Board to "take a stand for accuracy and full disclosure."
 
Revisions considered for valuation of public pension funds
Sept. 5, 2008
Washington Post 
The Academy Public Interest Committee's forum on public pension plan disclosures was discussed and Academy President Bill Bluhm was quoted. Bluhm said that the Actuarial Standards Board could issue new standards directing pension funds to modify their accounting methods, but municipalities could pass their own measures trumping the requirement.
 
U.S. pension schemes resist corporate accounting proposal
Sept. 5, 2008
e-Financial News
The Academy Public Interest Committee's forum on public pension plan disclosures was discussed.
 
Public funds fight to keep accounting status quo
June 23, 2008
Pensions & Investments 
Steps being taken by the Actuarial Standards Board to examine public pension plan disclosures were described by an Academy spokesperson.
 
Outside audit promised for pension fund
April 5, 2007
New York Times 
Academy Pension Council Vice President Donald J. Segal discussed public pension financing. Segal said that the Academy's Pension Practice Council would discuss state pension funding at its May meeting after learning that New Jersey had repeatedly failed to finance its pension plan as required by state statutes.