Forensic Analysis of Pension Funding: A Tool for Policymakers

Link: https://crr.bc.edu/briefs/forensic-analysis-of-pension-funding-a-tool-for-policymakers/

Graphic:

Full pdf: https://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/SLP83_.pdf

Key findings:

State and local policymakers face a growing pension cost burden, but often lack understanding of the root causes.

One underappreciated cause is “legacy debt” – unfunded liabilities accumulated long ago, before plans adopted modern funding practices.

Legacy debt still exists today because historical unfunded liabilities were ultimately paid in full using some of the money intended to fund later benefits.

In a sample of plans with particularly low funded ratios, legacy debt averaged more than 40 percent of unfunded liabilities.

A failure to recognize the legacy debt has provided misleading information about benefit generosity, hindering progress toward effective solutions.

Author(s): Jean-Pierre Aubry

Publication Date: April 2022

Publication Site: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch wants a graduated income tax do-over — this time tied to pension funding

Link: https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-chris-welch-speaker-graduated-income-tax-illinois-20210224-fuzpz3fznrdwzpp7lhnhdlflue-story.html

Excerpt:

New Democratic House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch suggested Wednesday that the state should again ask voters to approve a graduated-rate income tax, but this time target the new money toward paying down Illinois’ massive pension debt.

The call for a do-over came after voters in November overwhelmingly rejected Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s graduated income tax proposal. Opponents, including Republicans and business leaders, used distrust of Springfield to argue for keeping the state constitution’s flat tax requirement.

Author(s): DAN PETRELLA

Publication Date: 24 February 2021

Publication Site: Chicago Tribune