Goverment Pension Plans

Pension and health care benefits provider to states and local government employees are emsiderally broader in coverage and more geneous compared with those for private sector emp;oyes. According to the bureau of labor statistic’s employee compensation survey (March 2010), 84 percent of all state and local government employees had access to a defined retirement plan, 29 percent to a defined contribution retirement plan, and 23 percent to both types of plans during 2009. 59 percent with access to defined amtribution plans 14 with accees to both private sector workers and 14 with access to booth types of plans.

Using employer cost per households worked as an indictcator generosity of defined benefits pension plans at the state and local government cost are $3. 32 per household worked of which $3. 00 is accounted for by defined benefit plans. State and local government,have opted to continue provding defined benefit retirement plans to employees. Although a small minority of state and local governments also offer defined contributions retirement plans.

The continued predominance of defined benefit plans amoung state and local government entities means that those agwncies continue to assume the responibilites and risk associated with funding and managing retirement plans for their employees. Those responsibilites and risk however coexist and sometimes run counter economic imperatives facing state and local government, moreoney state and local government pension boards may be inherned by the political refernces of their elected represntatives. The desion of poliy makers to allocate government revenues primarily to projects that immediately and directly benefit their taxpayers and residents.

Education, healthcare infrastructures,community development and makes ensuring adequate funding of state and local government defined benefit retirement plans. Asset price declines during recessions (2001-2002 and 2007-2009) and the slow economic rebound since the latter recession ended home exacurbuted the funding problem of state and local government retirement plans.

However beyond the difficulities of ensuring adequate contributions into those plans many pension boards also appear to have made questionable decisions about valuing their future pension plan liabilites, managing the risk exposures of pension plan assets, and community information about pension shortfalls to state and local government employees and taxpayers in a timely manner. This is a continuing defiriencies in pension plan management may soon force a wrenching transformation of state and local governments pension plans in a direction similar to that which has already occurred in the private sector.

As a result, current and new state and local government employees in a several states may soon be forced to assume the responibilties and risks associated with providing retirement security for themselves, their dependents, and their surviors.

This report contains a detailed description of the funding erosion in state and local government employee pension plans during the last decade, controlling for the decsions in pension plan asset values during the recent recessions it also analyse wheather atleast some of the blame for the current poor funding condition of state and local government pension plans can be assigned to insufficant contributions by both employees and employees.

Finally because the pension plans are operated by government entities that are unlikely to be shut down it is useful to examine how their pension funding conditions would change if future contributions and benefits are taken into account. The pension crisis is a predictr difficulty in paying for corporate,state and federal pension in the Unitied States due to a differences between pension obligation and the resources set aside to fund them. Because of shifting demographies that are causing a lower ratio of workers per retires. Contributin factors include retires living longer, and lower birth rates.

There is a significant debate reguarding the magnitutde and importance of the promblemas well as the solutions. For example as of 2008 the United Sates had underfunded their pension programs by an estimated 1 trillion dollars. The present value of underfunded obligations under Social Security as of August 2010 was approximatrly 5. 4 trillion. This amount would have to be set aside today such that the principal and interest would cover the program’s shortfall between tax revenues and payouts over the next 75 years. Ways to reform the pension Plans;

B) A by adding the worker-retiree ratio, via raising the retirement age employment policy and immigration policy; B) Reducing obligation via shifting from defined benefit to defined contribution pension types and reducing future payment amounts (by, for example, adjusting the formula that determines the level of benefits of parts C) Increasing resources to fund pension via increasing contribution rates and raising taxes. Recently the latter has included. Proposed solutions to the pension crisis include ones that address the dependency ratio-later retirement, part-time work by the aged, encouraging highrt birth rates, or immigration of working aged persons- and ones that take the depending ratio as a given and address the finances higher taxes, reductions in benefits, or the encouragement or reform of the private sector. In the United.

States since 1979 there has been a significant shift away from defined contribations plans, like the 401k. In 1979 62% of private sector employees w pension plans of some type were covered by defined benefit plans, with about 17% covered by defined contribution plans. By 2009, there had renersed to approximately 7% and 68%, respectively. As of 2011, government were beginning to follow the private sector in this regard.