Tag: Pension Reform

Expand Retirement Options, Shrink Teacher Doldrums

This commentary appeared in the February 1, 2017, edition of The Marietta Daily Journal. By Benita M. Dodd PAGE, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, has surveyed its members and the findings, reported in its January/February 2017 newsletter (PAGE One), are depressing. The survey found that nearly half of teachers (45 percent) say they are unlikely to remain in education for the next 10 years. Sadly, a majority – 53 percent – also said they would not recommend a career in education. The report notes, “With the current teacher shortage and continuing teacher pipeline issues, these statistics are of great concern to PAGE.” The survey also found that 59 percent of the respondents oppose converting the Teacher Retirement System from… View Article

Guide to the Issues: Pension Reform

Principles: Any reforms to pensions should consider the long-term solvency of a plan and protect the already promised benefits for employees already in the system. The benefits in a public employee retirement system should be sustainable, secure and affordable: Provide retirement security for all members (current and future) and retirees Manage and mitigate taxpayer and pension system exposure to financial risk and market risk Reduce long-term costs for employers or taxpayers as well as employees Stabilize contribution rates Ensure the ability to recruit 21st-century employees Improve governance & transparency The best solutions emerge from collaborative efforts involving a broad cross-section of stakeholders in a process that examines flaws in a pension system, explores and analyzes all possible methods of reform,… View Article
A bill introduced this month would modernize Georgia teachers’ pensions to be more in line with private-sector retirement plans. The proposal is modeled after the successful reform of Georgia’s pension plan for new state employees 7 years ago. Senate Bill 152, sponsored by Sen. Hunter Hill, would only apply to teachers hired after January 1, 2017.  These newly hired teachers would automatically be enrolled in a hybrid pension plan that combines a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k) plan, with a smaller traditional defined benefit component. This is exactly what happened with state employees in 2008 in response to a survey showing that state employees under age 30 earning less than $35,000 annually – who made up the… View Article
Atlanta Journal-Constitution conservative columnist Kyle Wingfield and Georgia Center for Opportunity vice president Eric Cochling discuss eight issues that impact Georgians.  This conversation was recorded at our “Georgia Legislative Roundup” policy leadership breakfast on March 26 at The Georgian Club in Cobb County.  Segment introductions by Kelly McCutchen. Eric Cochling:  Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Success Kyle Wingfield: Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment Initiatives Eric Cochling: Child Welfare and Foster Care Reform  Kyle Wingfield: Traffic Congestion and Transportation $$$ Eric Cochling:  Education Funding and School Choice Kyle Wingfield: Georgia Income Tax and Pension Reform Eric Cochling: Medicaid and Access to Health Care Kyle Wingfield: Entrenched Threats to Innovation  … View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release February 25, 2014 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Releases Study on Retirement Benefits Reform Unfunded Liabilities an Urgent, Growing Burden, Analysis Concludes Atlanta – Across the nation, cities and states are staring at a mountain of unfunded government pension and other employee benefits. For decades, public officials have freely doled out rich benefits to public employees, knowing the bill won’t be due until far in the future; what George Will describes as “‘IBG, YBG:’ I’ll be gone and you’ll be gone when the reckoning arrives.”   Reckoning is rapidly approaching for these governments and the taxpayers who fund them, according to a study released today by the Georgia Public… View Article

Rhode Island Pension Reform Case Study

In 2011, Rhode Island enacted major pension reform legislation spearheaded by State Treasurer and current gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo to address an unfunded pension liability of $6.8 billion and a system less than 50 percent funded relative to its obligations. Among the changes, the reforms introduced a hybrid defined-benefit/defined-contribution funding system, suspended cost-of-living-adjustments for retirees, and increased the retirement age. A new Reason Foundation report offers a detailed case study of Rhode Island’s pension reform efforts, reviewing the challenges that prompted the reforms, the specific policies enacted, and the lessons learned for other states and municipalities facing significant unfunded pension liabilities. Read the study: Pension Reform Case Study: Rhode Island View Article

Friday Facts: December 20, 2013

It’s Friday! It’s nearing year’s end, and we’d like to remind you: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Friday Facts, our most popular product, exist thanks to your support and contributions. Please help us continue “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives,” with your tax-deductible end-of-year contribution at http://tinyurl.com/3y27zfm. Quote of Note “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – Calvin Coolidge Events January 28, 2014: Join the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and education experts Eric Wearne, Jim Kelly and Ben Scafidi at Cobb County’s Georgian Club for an 8 a.m. Leadership… View Article

Georgia Pension Funding Improving

If Santa looks at states when making a list of who’s naughty or nice, he will find seven who most improved the condition of their pension funds since 2009, when the economic recovery began. Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Virginia are most improved, having more money available to fulfill their promises to retirees.  (In accounting terms, this means less “unfunded liabilities.”) Source: Institute for Trust in Accounting Georgia was among the top ten states in terms of pension funding in 2010, as measured by a Pew Charitable Trusts study, with 85 percent of its long-term state pension liabilities funded.… View Article
By Steve Metz Georgia’s Teachers Retirement System (TRS) represents a significant cost to taxpayers and an important part of teachers’ compensation and benefits package.  The current system is typical of government / teacher pension plans set up many years ago and it serves many teachers well (especially those who put in 30 or 40 years).  There are a lot of situations where it does not work well in today’s world however, and there are many reasons to believe it should be revised. From an employer’s perspective, a retirement plan should help with the Three R’s: Recruiting, Retaining and Rewarding employees.  In the rest of this discussion I will address how the TRS could be modified to better meet these objectives.… View Article

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Governor Roy Barnes more quotes