Pension Reform

Politically Motivated Investing Harming Public Employee Pension Funds: Jonathan Williams on American Radio Journal

These unfunded liabilities take up large amount of our tax dollars within state and local budgets, crowding out funding for essential public services and taking away opportunities for future tax relief.

In his latest American Radio Journal commentary, ALEC EVP of Policy and Chief Economist Jonathan Williams details how politically driven investing is harming public employee pension funds.

This report analyzed the unfunded pension liabilities for each and every state across America. And this year, those unfunded liabilities totaled nearly $7 trillion nationwide, which of course, is an average of nearly $21,000 for every man, woman and child in America. This issue of unfunded liabilities flies under the radar for most Americans, unfortunately, as we don’t get a bill in the mail stating how much we must pay into the public pension fund. Instead, these unfunded liabilities take up large amount of our tax dollars within state and local budgets, crowding out funding for essential public services and taking away opportunities for future tax relief. All 50 states have massive unfunded liabilities.

Our studies revealed, ultimately a certain dire need of pension reform. In addition to many of the significant policy challenges to government pension systems, such as big government underfunding the systems and politicians over promising generous new benefits. In large and growing trends, pension plans and taxpayers are politically motivated investment schemes. Politically driven investments have been around for decades, but until recently, they haven’t really taken out a level of prominence that they needed to expose, in the form of an acronym that many of us have heard of, that recently has become mainstream news and that is, thanks to the efforts of ALEC lawmakers and state financial officers across the nation to expose it to it there being so called environmental, social and governance (ESG)¬† like previous iterations of politically motivated investing.

Listen to the full interview here.


In Depth: Pension Reform

Modern, 401(k)-style plans are now commonplace in the private sector. For state workers, however, traditional pensions are still the norm. As former Utah State Senator Dan Liljenquist wrote in¬†Keeping the Promise: State Solutions for Government Pension Reform, this is not a partisan issue, but a math problem. State Budget…

+ Pension Reform In Depth