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New Jersey Lawmakers Warn of “Devastating” Budget Cuts in Wake of Court Pension Decision

A New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled this week that the state acted illegally when it cut its contribution to the state pension system in 2014. If the state’s appeal of the ruling fails, it will have to come up with an additional $1.57 billion in 2015 in order to make its full payment to the pension system. That money isn’t yet budgeted for ...
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Pension Shortfalls Felt By Police Departments As Hiring, Retainment Becomes More Difficult for Cities

Pension obligations have strained police departments across the county as they weigh ways to cut costs without hurting the quality of their force. But sound solutions are hard to come by as benefit cuts make it harder to recruit and retain good officers. By the same token, mounting pension obligations make it more unlikely cities will spend money on ...
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California Attorney: Bankruptcy “Not a Practical or Desirable” Way To Cut Pensions

Teague Paterson, an attorney from Sacramento specializing in labor law, has penned a column in Monday’s Sacramento Bee in which he explains his position that bankruptcy is “not a practical or desirable” way to cut pension benefits. From the column: Imagine for a moment that you have run into deep financial trouble and have decided to ...
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Think Tank: Blame Pension Costs For The 140 Tax Increases On California’s Ballot

When Californians go to vote on November 4, they will find a ballot stuffed with tax hikes. There will be 140 different proposed tax increases on ballots across California. Is there a reason behind the surge? Mark Bucher, president of the California Policy Center, thinks he knows the reason. In a new column he says voters need look no further than ...

Fact Check: Has Tom Corbett Been Shorting The Pension System?

Tom Corbett has used the campaign trail to paint himself as a pension reformer – Corbett, the incumbent governor of Pennsylvania, says the pension system needs to be overhauled and supports a plan to shift public workers into a 401(k)-style plan. His opponent, Tom Wolf, disagrees. Wolf says the problem isn’t the current system—it’s the current ...
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Chamber of Commerce Gives New Jersey “F” On Pensions, Fiscal Responsibility

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a state-by-state report card yesterday, grading all 50 states on various areas, including education and fiscal responsibility. New Jersey graded well on education. But it flunked the fiscal responsibility portion of the report card, earning a solid “F” from the Chamber of Commerce. Why? The under-funded pension ...
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Report: U.S. Public Pension Funding Up 6 Percent in 2013

Funding ratios of the largest public pension plans across the country have improved since last year to the tune of 6 percent, according to report by Wilshire Consulting released Monday morning. From Reuters: In the study provided to Reuters, Wilshire estimated 109 state retirement systems had enough assets to cover 73 percent of their obligations in ...
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Winnipeg’s Pension Reserves Quickly Depleting; Budget Pains Likely Coming

For years, Winnipeg has had a “rainy day fund”, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, that was used to pay pension expenses. It was advantageous for the city because the general budget could be insulated from rising pension costs. But that may not last much longer. The rainy day fund is drying up, and pension costs are still rising: the city expects ...
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Pittsburgh Comprehensive Fund Returns 16 Percent For Year

Pittsburgh’s Comprehensive Municipal Trust Fund reports that it returned 16 percent on its investments from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014 (the fund’s fiscal year). Reported by TribLive: The pension system earned 16 percent on its invested portfolio during the 12 months ending Aug. 31, Executive Director Paul Leger said. “It’s a very ...
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For Chicago, Property Taxes Still A No-Go As City Turns Elsewhere to Fix Pension Pains

In Chicago, property taxes are among the most politically unpalatable ideas one can bring to the table. But Illinois law requires the city to dramatically increase its payments to its two major pension funds to the tune of $500 million by 2016. In the past, the city has levied property taxes a year or two in advance of the payments in order to fund ...
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