Tag archive for pension reform

Tax Reform and Pension Reform

Congressman Dave Camp’s recently released tax reform draft has stimulated a much-needed national conversation about the U.S. tax code, attracting praise, criticism and skepticism. Buried in the plan is one tax change that could significantly influence the pension reform debate now raging nationwide at the state and local level.
Camp’s plan would …

Unions seek bad news on California reform initiative

Opponents of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s constitutional amendment to allow changes to pensions in California were quick to trumpet an analysis of the initiative by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. Adversaries claimed the report found the initiative could potentially cost state and local governments ‘billions of dollars.” But in a rather obvious case of selective quotation, opponents left out the rest of the story, which was that the LAO found that any higher costs would be offset by tremendous pension savings for governments in the Golden State…

Four pension myths

Public awareness of state and local governments’ pension struggles is now at an all-time high, thanks to increased media attention in recent years. Though generally a welcome development, there are downsides, as not all pension coverage has hit the mark.
Recent news coverage and reports have served more to misinform …

Oregon back to drawing board on pension changes

After failing to get pension reform earlier this year, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is calling a special legislative session in hopes of winning a new and unique package of tax increases and public sector pension cuts. Oregon faces between $14 billion and $16 billion in …

Sorry, unions, but California pension reformers are still around

A union spokesman was boasting about the death of California’s pension reform movement, yet the day after his article was published a large group of pension reformers (myself included) met in Sacramento to look at plans for the future. And some pension reformers are looking …

Pension reformer takes on congressional bid

Former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio lost his bid to be the city’s mayor in the November election, but he just announced his candidacy for Congress. DeMaio has been organizing statewide pension-reform efforts and led the charge for a successful pension initiative during his council …

More red state pension follies

Kansas’ pension system (KPERS) has been abysmally mismanaged. Measured against all other major 
public pension systems, KPERS ranks among the worst in terms of per capita pension debt ($3,606) and funded ratio (46% using the now industry-standard “blended” discount rate). A new Kansas Policy Institute report characterizes the causes for these problems as structural. For years, KPERS has trailed national averages (see table), so there’s no blaming the recession. What, then, is to blame? 

Pensions: Contributions minus withdrawals plus lousy market=yikes!

The Census has released its latest quarterly report on State and Local Pensions. To watch the flow of funds in and out of pensions is always illuminating, and the report illustrates the fundamental issue  with many of our state and local systems, which must rely …

Public pension fallacy #5 will not go away

One of the most common fallacies confronting pension reformers is the accusation that we are “projecting” low rates of return on public pension investments. This is public pension fallacy #5 in my recent paper, ”Nine Fallacies Used to Defend Public-Sector Pensions.”
The cliffs-notes response is that we are not …

Ezra Klein helps to explain why pension reform is, or should be, bipartisan

Conservatives have a “you had me at hello” attitude towards pension reform, but liberals take some persuading, due to their sympathy for public employee unions and their instinct to view every fiscal problem as a revenue problem.
To overcome such hang-ups, liberals should read and reflect on Ezra Klein’s argument …