Balancing The Account

Video: GASB Chairman Talks New Accounting Standards for Public Pensions

In this interview, Governmental Accounting Standards Board chairman David Vaudt discusses the entity’s new public pension accounting rules, the results they have produced so far, and what the rules mean for the finances of cash-strapped states.   Video credit: CNBC Feature photo credit: www.SeniorLiving.Org

Is Illinois America’s Greece?

A recent piece in The Economist wonders whether Illinois’ pension debt might lead the state down the same path as Greece. From the Economist, and re-published by Business Insider: Illinois is like Greece in one obvious way: It overpromised and underdelivered on pensions and has little appetite for dealing with the problem, says Hal Weitzman of the ...
Balancing The Account

Texas Pension Accounting Tweak Will Shift Debt to Schools, If Only Symbolically

In light of newly adopted GASB accounting rules, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas in 2015 will require school districts, colleges – and any other government entities that pay into the system – to declare their employees’ pension liabilities on their books. From the Killeen Daily Herald: School districts across the state will soon have more ...

Biggs: Public Pensions Take On Too Much Risk

Andrew Biggs, former deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration and current Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, penned a column for the Wall Street Journal this week in which he posed the thesis that public pension funds invest in too many risky assets. To start, he compares the asset allocations of an individual versus ...

Do Public Pensions Need Federal Regulation?

The federal law ERISA – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 – regulates many aspects of private pension plans. Should public pension funds be beholden to similar federal regulation? Alicia H. Munnell of the Center for Retirement Research explored this issue in a recent column published on MarketWatch. Munnell writes: In a recent ...
Balancing The Account

Legal Quirks Complicate New GASB Rules in Pennsylvania

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has rolled out new financial reporting rules for pension funds, and the expectation is that the new rules will expose some “red ink”, so to speak, at pension funds who previously kept some liabilities off the books. But implementation and enforcement of the rules is hardly straightforward. Pennsylvania ...
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