Video: ALEC Leaders Discuss New Pension Report
Maryland Senator Gail Bates, former Utah Senator Dan Liljenquist, ALEC senior fellow Bob Williams and Jonathan Williams, vice president of the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform joined Heritage Foundation Senior Analyst Rachel Grezler to discuss the new ALEC report, Unaccountable and Unaffordable 2016: Unfunded Public Pension Liabilities Near $5.6 Trillion.
As the panelists discuss, the average public pension funding level is a paltry 35 percent. Here’s another way to look at it: unfunded pension promises total $17,427 for every woman, man and child across the United States.
Thankfully, the states are leading the way on smart ideas for reform. In Utah for example, Senator Liljenquist, author of the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform study, Keeping the Promise: State Solutions for Government Pension Reform, worked with the Utah legislature to provide a defined-contribution retirement plan for new workers. Other states, such as Alaska, Michigan, Oklahoma and Rhode Island, have implemented sensible reforms.
As Senator Dan Liljenquist explains, pension reform is not a partisan problem, but a math problem. Public servants have kept their end of the bargain — it’s time for state governments to keep theirs. Positive solutions like the reforms outlined in Keeping the Promise can indeed help state governments keep their promises to workers, retirees and taxpayers.