Ken Sarni

Ken Sarni

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, 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 or wherever quality books are sold.

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Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2018 Update in Perspective
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The brief’s key findings are:

  • The 2018 Trustees Report shows virtually no change:
    • Social Security’s 75-year deficit ticked up from 2.83 percent to 2.84 percent of payroll.
    • Trust fund exhaustion is still 2034, after which payroll taxes still cover about three quarters of promised benefits.
  • This shortfall is manageable, but action should be taken soon to equitably share the burden among cohorts, restore public confidence, and give people time to adjust.
  • One concern is whether the declining fertility rate is a lingering effect of the Great Recession or a permanent shift that could worsen Social Security’s finances.

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Who Is The Retirement Security Initiative
Source: NPPC

Who are the people behind the Retirement Security Initiative’s plan to gut pensions for millions of Americans?

Video – Must Watch

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How Does Divorce Affect Retirement Security?
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The brief’s key findings are:

  • While the divorce rate is no longer rising, about 40 percent of marriages still end in divorce.
  • The financial costs can be high: a divorcing couple pays legal fees, may need to sell illiquid assets, and has to cover the costs of two – rather than one – residence.
  • Not surprisingly, the analysis finds that households with a past divorce are much more likely to be at risk for maintaining their standard of living in retirement.
  • Interestingly, for one divorced group – single women – the impact is negligible, perhaps because higher child care costs are offset by retaining the house as an asset.

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Why Pensions Matter
Source: National Public Pension Coalition

Pensions, in the broadest sense of the term, have existed since ancient Rome. Soldiers in the
Roman army could earn pensions through their military service. The value of these pensions to Roman
soldiers helped to maintain the power of emperors such as Augustus. Pensions for military service have
continued to exist in one form or another in the two thousand years since.

Public pensions for teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other civilian public servants in the United
States are a more recent development. In fact, public pensions as we know them are just over one
hundred years old. Governments began offering pensions because they are the most effective and cost efficient
way for working families to prepare for retirement. Unfortunately, many people today have
forgotten the true value of pensions and why they are so important. This report will explore the history
of defined benefit public pensions in the United States, why they were implemented in the first place,
and why they continue to remain today.

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