First I want to say that I hope all of you are well - and take care that you stay that way. We need you.
With the new 'shelter in place' (I call it 'house arrest'), the days seem long and pretty boring, but I trust the medical experts who tell us this is the best way to stop the dreadful virus. Stay home, stay safe, stay well. I will continue to keep you informed on the pension front!
Steven Greenhut, and others who follow the pension crisis closely, have long predicted that there would soon be another recession and that governments should prepare for it. It's here; they didn't.
cities were in dire shape before the latest unpleasantness and, as the
Southern California News Group’s Teri Sforza recently explained, will
“have to fork over more to recover losses in pension funds, even as
they’re still scrambling to fill the pension hole left by the last
recession.” The mammoth California Public Employees’ Retirement System
(CalPERS) was only 70-percent funded at the height of the market, which
should have offered a clue."
"Public employees, who often enjoy six-figure retirements, won’t take a hit. Cities will have to boost their contributions to the fund, which means cutbacks in public services and higher local taxes. The state will divert more money from the general fund. CalPERS may be considering leaving the contribution rate steady for the next two years to reduce cities’ pain, but that will only kick the can down the road and ultimately exacerbate the shortfall.
Again, many reformers have been warning about these looming pension problems for years. “Everything we worried about is now here,” said Sen. John Moorlach, the Costa Mesa Republican who had predicted the Orange County bankruptcy and is the Capitol’s top pension expert. Moorlach has called for a shift from defined-benefit plans to 401(k) plans for public employees, but the union-controlled Legislature could never countenance such a heretical idea."
Once the Coronovirus is under control, there needs to be a loud beating of the pension reform drums to address the issue head on. No more nibbling around the edges, no more new or increased taxes to cover the shortfalls, no more procrastinating.
We'll be ready.