News

The Wrong Way to Preserve Public Pensions
Source: NPPC

Last week we wrote about Minnesota and the collaborative process that led to the unanimous passage of pension legislation that will shore up the pension systems there. Minnesota showed the right way to do things: bring everyone to the table and negotiate in good faith. Other states have not followed this same path when dealing with public pensions. Kentucky also passed a major piece of pension legislation this year, but with a less positive outcome than in Minnesota.

More than a year ago, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin began saying he would call a special legislative session to address public pensions and tax reform. He quickly dropped tax reform, despite Kentucky’s notoriously porous tax code, and said the special session would focus only on public pensions. Despite continuing to promise a special session throughout the fall, he never called one. Eventually, it became too late for a special session and the 2018 regular legislative session began in Kentucky.

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New Illinois program to offer retirement savings plan
Source: The State Journal-Register

A new state program will automatically deduct money from the paychecks of about 1.2 million Illinois residents for retirement savings.

The move could reduce the use of food stamps, Medicaid and other publicly funded social programs, said Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs. Illinois Secure Choice is being phased in more than three years after becoming law, The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reported.

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2017 data now available in the Public Plans Data
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The PPD, a unique repository of data on state and local pensions, has added:

  • 10 new local plans to the existing sample of 170 state and local plans; and
  • 2017 data for over 100 variables.

To access these data, the PPD offers a wide variety of features: “quick-fact” pages with key data at the national, state, and plan levels, and:

  • an enhanced interactive data browser for customized searches;
  • a full-scale downloadable dataset for researchers; and
  • downloadable financial reports and actuarial valuations.

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401(k) Lawsuits: What Are the Causes and Consequences?
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Employers with 401(k)s are required to administer their plans for the “sole benefit” of workers, a standard that has been the subject of substantial litigation.
  • Recent lawsuits have focused on excessive fees, although inappropriate investment options and self-dealing are other common reasons for suits.
  • Court rulings in these cases often hinge on whether plan fiduciaries follow a “prudent” decision making process, rather than on specific outcomes.
  • Perhaps in part to avoid such litigation, 401(k) sponsors have begun to rely more on low-cost index funds and have taken steps to reduce fees.
  • At the same time, concerns about litigation could dissuade 401(k) sponsors from offering potentially useful innovations, such as lifetime income options.

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Registration Now Open for the 2018 MidAmerican Pension Conference
Source: IPPFA

Registration Now Open for the 2018 MidAmerican Pension Conference.

For over 30 years the IPPFA has offered Public Pension Trustees the best and latest in trustee training. With the recent far reaching changes in pension law and with the difficult challenges yet to come, the IPPFA strives to prepare pension trustees for the future. Please join us for Training in Ethics, Investment Procedures, Fiduciary Responsibilities, Legal and Legislative Updates, and much, much more and all with nationally renowned speakers.

The Trustee Workshop will be offered on Tuesday October 2th, designed for those trustees that need a refresher or are new to a board. And as every year the IPPFA Golf Outing will be held before the conference on October 2nd.

After a busy day attending the conference, enjoy one of the many recreational facilities the Grand Geneva has to offer or dine, relax and network at one of the several restaurants and lounges on site. Need to get out?  Drive less than 10 minutes to one of Downtown Lake Geneva’s many restaurants.

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IPPFA President adds his writing talents to a Crowd Sourced Novel
Source: IPPFA

(Chicago, IL) Imagine a group of pension lawyers, teachers, journalists, office workers, union activists and a cop, all collaboratively writing a single novel.  That’s what Jay Rehak, President of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund Board of Trustees did when he outlined Someone Else’s Shoes (The Zapata Challenge) and invited his friends to help him write his tenth  crowd sourced novel.

Rehak, who teaches writing at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, got the idea of writing the book while at a dinner discussing pension issues with IPPFA President James McNamee and a group of Chicago and New York lawyers.  As the group told humorous and heart-wrenching stories of their childhoods, and how those incidents impacted their respective choices of their professions, Rehak realized there was a novel to be written, if only he could get each person in the group to sit down and write his/her own chapter.

The result was Someone Else’s Shoes (The Zapata Challenge), the story of Carla Zapata, an angry Chicago Public School Administrator determined to uncover educational fraud at Sojourner High School, a highly successful magnet school.  Zapata interviews 15 of the school’s teachers to try and find out how “The School of Champions” consistently wins academic, artistic, and athletic accolades as the best educational institution in Illinois.

Available on Amazon.com, Someone Else’s Shoes (The Zapata Challenge)is written by Julie Biehl, Joseph M. Burns, Tony Hintze, Chris Inserra, Gary Liddell, Josh Locks, Barbara Mahany, Carol Maskus, James McNamee, Patrick T. Reardon, Bob Rehak, Jay C. Rehak, Scott Suma, Chet B. Waldman & Eric Wright. Each of the authors has a distinct background that lends itself to powerful storytelling.  Each of the writers digs into his/her own past to tell a childhood story that is moving and helps readers understand that compassion and empathy are the greatest skills anyone can possess.

Proceeds from Someone Else’s Shoes (The Zapata Challenge) are used to fund an annual scholarship Rehak gives to one of his graduating seniors. It is available on Amazon.com or wherever quality books are sold.

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