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Retirement Funding Status and Trends: Rough Seas Ahead Elizabeth Kellar, President/CEO Center for State and Local Government Excellence www.slge.org May.

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Presentation on theme: "Retirement Funding Status and Trends: Rough Seas Ahead Elizabeth Kellar, President/CEO Center for State and Local Government Excellence www.slge.org May."— Presentation transcript:

1 Retirement Funding Status and Trends: Rough Seas Ahead Elizabeth Kellar, President/CEO Center for State and Local Government Excellence May 19, 2010

2 The Current Economic Picture Sustained fiscal constraints for states and localities Looming workforce challenges Unfunded liabilities Federal deficit looms Major changes ahead

3 The Perfect Storm

4 The Not-So-Great Recession Economic downturn continues for state governments thru 2010 and 2011 All sources of revenue are down: income, sales, property taxes Federal deficit looms Regional differences

5 [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]

6 THE CURRENT HUMAN RESOURCE REALITY State and local governments feel the squeeze

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9 Competing for Talent Good benefits help recruit and retain employees But reductions in benefits are todays reality 70% have increased employee contributions to health care 18% require new workers to contribute more to pension plan; 8% increased years required to vest in plan

10 Who has a pension? From: Current Population Survey

11 Retirement Delays

12 The Status of State and Local Plans in 2009 Research Team Alicia H. Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry, and Laura, Quinby Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

13 Key Findings Most pensions were over 80 percent funded in 2008 In 2009, only 36 percent of plans studied were over 80% funded Most pension plans will not return to 80 percent funding levels by 2013 unless contribution levels increase

14 Public and Private Plans Invest about 70% of their assets in equities Were 80-90% funded

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18 Crystal Ball Projections Most likely: 2010 actuarial reports will show assets equal to ~77% of promised benefits; by 2013, ratio will drop to 72% The pessimistic ratio for 2013 is 66% The optimistic ration for 2013 is 76%

19 What are plan sponsors doing? Louisiana extended the amortization period to 2040 Vermont extended its funding period to 2039 California expanded the corridor on the actuarial value of assets to moderate the required increase in the ARC.

20 WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

21 The Public Debate What rewards are appropriate for a career of public service? Are years to vest in plan appropriate? How are new hires treated? What should the normal retirement age be?

22 Political Issues Generation equity Transparency Management challenges with lower tiers of benefits for new hires Hybrid plans Competition with other demands Who pays?

23 Government Retirement Plans Could Be Models for Private Sector Employees contribute to retirement Retirement security is a priority Take a long view Professional management assets are the norm Should private sector employees be allowed to buy into public plans?

24 For a copy of Centers free research publications, visit:


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