Despite the broader bull market over the past eight years, some of the nation’s largest public pension funds, like the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the five New York City Public Pension Funds, are severely underfunded. How did things get so bad? A number of factors have contributed to these declines, including an increased focus on politically motivated investment decisions, rather than investments more likely to optimize returns. Read more about ACCF’s reporting on this issue by clicking the links below.
Unfunded liabilities at the nation’s largest public pension fund have grown from a surplus of $2.9 billion in 2007 to a deficit of more than $138 billion, despite the broader bull-market. Find out more about what is impacting CalPERS financial standing and the risks it poses to taxpayers and California retirees.
Four out of every five taxpayer-dollars collected by New York City’s personal income tax are spent paying down the city’s public pension fund system’s liabilities, a 567 percent increase over the past 15 years. Learn how politics is increasingly driving pension decisions – and hurting taxpayers along the way.
“We cannot afford to lose funding for law enforcement officers in exchange for a socially responsible investment policy…The CalPERS board has a fiduciary responsibility to the membership to deliver the best returns possible.”
– Sacramento Bee, Jul. 17, 2017
“Pension costs have crowded out and will likely to continue to crowd out resources needed for public assistance, welfare, recreation and libraries, health, public works, other social services, and in some cases, public safety.”
– Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, October 2, 2017
“It is easy to be a “socially responsible” investor with other people’s money. But when those politically manipulated pension portfolios fail to meet the retirement systems’ lofty investment return assumptions, it jeopardizes the financial health of the systems established to provide benefits to millions of government employees and that force taxpayers to make up the difference.”
– Orange County Register, Apr. 7, 2017