Maryland Needs More Pension Reform, Says ‘Think Tank’ – Southern Maryland Headline News

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland is in the same pension pickle as three-fifths of the other states, with its management of its long-term retirement obligations causing “serious concern” to the authors of a new study by the Pew Center on the States.

“States continue to lose ground,” said David Draine, one of the authors of “The Widening Gap” that showed states had a $1.38 trillion gap between assets and pension obligations, up from $1 trillion, which the first Pew report found two years ago. In that time, Maryland’s unfunded pension liabilities have risen from $11 billion to $19 billion, and now its assets would pay only 65% of its promises to retired state employees, down from 78% in 2008.

Like 43 states facing similar problems, Maryland made substantial changes in its pension system last year, increasing contributions from employees, reducing cost-of-living increases and tightening benefits. These changes are supposed to bring the retirement system up to 80% funding in nine years.

But the Pew Center report says additional reform will be needed, especially since Maryland and other states continue to short-change the recommended annual contributions to the pension system.

Annual required payments not being met

Commenting on the report, representatives of the unions with the most members in the employee and teacher pension systems — AFSCME and the Maryland State Education Association — both said the state needed to start making its actuarially required contributions.

According to Pew, in 2010 Maryland was supposed to put in $1.5 billion in the budget toward pensions, but only put in $1.3 billion.

“Far too many states have not been paying their actuarially required contribution for a long time, and Maryland would be one of them,” said Dean Kenderdine, executive director of the Maryland State Retirement Agency.

While much of the 35% shortfall in pension assets is due to investment losses in four of the last 12 years, about 4% of the unfunded liabilities is due to the state use of the “corridor method” of funding the pension system. Instituted when the pension system was almost fully funded, the corridor method allows the state to base its payments into the system on the previous year’s contribution plus 20% of the difference of what the payment should be. This eliminates large jumps in what taxpayers must put into the pension system.

“It’s really putting off the payment,” Kenderdine said. “It’s really pay me now or pay me a whole lot later.”

Since 2007, the board of the State Retirement and Pension System, headed by State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, has repeatedly asked the legislature to eliminate the corridor method and increase pension contributions now.

Changes coming to funding method

The General Assembly may finally be ready to make the change. In the Joint Chairmen’s Report on the state budget April 9, the legislature added language requesting that the retirement agency and the Department of Legislative Services “develop a plan to phase out the corridor funding methodology” and adjust the actuarial assumptions.

By phasing out the corridor underfunding, “we’re not going to be paying [the full required contribution] for a few years,” Kenderdine said. “It’s going to take a number of years to fix.”

Even with increased contributions from the state budget, the Maryland pension system is still relying on the assumption that it will get a 7.75% annual return on its investments, much higher than the average for the last decade, but lower than the average return for the past 25 years.

In fiscal 2010, the system’s investments earned 14% and in fiscal 2011, they earned 20%.

“States cannot sit back and hope the stock market to bail them out,” Draine said.

But he also emphasized that the problems are long term, not immediate. “All of these states have enough money to cover benefits five, 10 years or longer,” Draine said.

Current Maryland benefits

Under the old teachers retirement system, closed to membership since 1980, 30,000 retirees with an average age of 74 get an average of $32,000 per year. In the teacher pension system, which covers 103,000 educators, 30,500 retirees with an average age of 68 get $18,000 per year.

Under the old employees retirement system, closed to membership since 1980, 23,000 retirees with an average age of 73 get an average of $19,000 per year. In the employee pension system, 39,000 retirees with an average age of 67 get an average of $12,000 a year.

In 2011, the legislature substantially changed health care benefits for retirees, cutting $6.7 billion in liabilities that had been estimated at $16 billion, another cause for concern in the Pew report.

via Maryland Needs More Pension Reform, Says ‘Think Tank’ – Southern Maryland Headline News.

Democratic legislators need to get it about public’s desire for pension reform – San Jose Mercury News

If there was one message that went out strongly from the early June votes on local pension changes in San Jose and San Diego, it was this: Private sector workers are tired of seeing six-figure pensions go to some public employees while their own pensions are steadily cut or become increasingly uncertain.

Some might call this envy, and in a way it is. But the more realistic way to look at those votes is that they are a logical reaction to the reversal of some traditional assumptions.

They should also be a boost for Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension proposals for state employees, even if some conservatives have chosen to interpret the results differently.

The presumption for many decades was that civil servants and other workers on the public payroll enjoy more job security than most persons who work for private companies. There was little risk of them ever getting fired or laid off because unlike private businesses, governments could never go broke so long as they had the power to tax. The tradeoff for that was lower salaries for public employees than those in private companies, and lower pensions, too.

Much of this equation has gone by the boards. State and local governments have little power to tax anymore, because Proposition 13 demands a two-thirds popular vote to approve almost all new local levies and a two-thirds legislative vote for new state taxes. Government workers have been laid off in droves over the past few years — hundreds

of thousands in California alone.

Meanwhile, the rich pensions and higher pay that private industry offered through much of the 20th century began eroding significantly even before the 21st century began. Most definitive pension plans have disappeared for new private hires. Workers who used to get them now usually receive 401(k) plans that make retirement benefits subject to the vagaries of the stock market. But private sector jobs overall remain less secure than government work and public employees now often draw better pay and benefits.

This was the background to the public employee pension votes held in usually conservative San Diego and generally liberal San Jose.

In San Jose, where pensions made up more than 20 percent of the latest budget, almost 70 percent of voters approved a plan imposing on public workers the choice between boosting their own contributions to pensions up to 13 percent of their pay — a jump from the current range of 5 percent to 11 percent — or switching to a lower-cost plan with reduced eventual benefits. To bowdlerize the old oil filter ad, public workers have been told they can pay more now or get less later.

In San Diego, voters eliminated definitive pensions for all new city workers except police, substituting a 401(k)-style program. San Diego also froze “pensionable” pay levels for five years.

Voters, said Democratic San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, “understand the connection between skyrocketing pensions and the cuts in services we’ve suffered.”

All this was taken by some as a shot across Brown’s bow, since public employee bargaining rights increased considerably when he was governor in the 1970s.

That’s a skewed view. For Brown was way out in front on this issue. As early as last January, he issued a 12-point program of proposed pension changes that would put new state employees into partial 401(k)-style plans involving some market risk, while also asking state workers to increase contributions to their pensions. Republican state legislators have accepted that plan, but not Brown’s fellow Democrats.

After the June vote, though, there were no I-told-you-so’s from Brown, much of whose electoral support in 2010 came from public employee unions. “The pension vote in San Jose, which is a more liberal city than the state as a whole, is a very powerful signal that pension reform is an imperative,” he said in a video interview. —…people should have confidence that pensions and their reform are on the agenda, right at the top.”

We will shortly know about that. The Legislature has only until the end of the month to place a measure on the November ballot to make at least some of the changes Brown’s seeks.

But Democratic legislators who control both the state Assembly and Senate so far evince none of the urgency Brown conveys, nor have they acknowledged that the San Jose and San Diego votes, not to mention the failure of the recall vote against Wisconsin’s governor, have wider implications.

That’s an ostrich approach. Yes, some lawmakers say they plan to get pension reform done by the end of the current legislative session. That’s not soon enough. The magnitude of the margins in the two big cities demonstrated that voters feel great urgency about restoring equity between public and private sector workers. And legislators had better listen, or those in competitive contests this fall could feel heavy consequences.

via Democratic legislators need to get it about public’s desire for pension reform – San Jose Mercury News.

W.Va. high court upholds archives director’s firing | West Virginia Record

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, in a ruling Monday, said it “found no error” in a circuit court order dismissing a grievance by former state Archives and History Director Fred Armstrong.

Armstrong served as director of the state archives for more than 20 years before being fired in 2007 by state Division of Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith.

Armstrong, who filed a grievance with the state’s Public Employees Grievance Board against the division the same day as his firing, alleged a dispute with his superiors, as well as a written reprimand, played a direct role in his termination.

In his grievance, he argued his dismissal was improper under West Virginia law, and requested reinstatement to his position, an apology and “acknowledgment” for his past work.

In February 2008, Administrative Law Judge Janis I. Reynolds denied a motion to dismiss by the division. The order effectively authorized the filing of an amended grievance by Armstrong.

In June 2008, ALJ Denise Spatafore, who took over for Reynolds following her retirement, issued a 12-page order dismissing the amended grievance.

Armstrong then filed an appeal in the Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Judge Paul Zakaib issued a 43-page order on Dec. 22, 2010, affirming the dismissal order.

On appeal before the state’s high court, Armstrong argues the lower court erred by affirming the board’s decision to dismiss his amended grievance without a hearing before the ALJ and that Spatafore had no authority to enter a dismissal order after Reynolds denied the division’s motion to dismiss.

The holding of a hearing is a “discretionary decision” of an ALJ, the Court said.

“Upon examination of the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the West Virginia Public Employees’ Grievance Board, we find that there is a procedure in place for the disposition of grievances without a hearing,” the justices explained in their per curiam opinion.

“Rule 6.2 grants to the administrative law judge the authority and discretion to control the processing of each grievance, and to take such actions deemed appropriate. Rule 6.11 specifically authorizes the dismissal of claims found to be without merit. Rule 6.6.1 allows the administrative law judge to ‘hold a hearing on a motion if it is determined that a hearing is necessary to the development of a full and complete record upon which a proper decision can be made.'”

As to Spatafore’s decision, the Court said it found “no clear error” in the circuit court’s ruling on the issue.

“There is plainly no barrier to another administrative law judge ruling upon a different motion to dismiss, especially where that new motion is based on additional information developed through discovery of the petitioner and the Commissioner (Reid-Smith), as well as Secretary (Kay) Goodwin,” the justices wrote in their 15-page ruling.

As for Armstrong’s argument that his firing violated public policy, the Court again sided with the lower court.

“In its order, the circuit court found that the petitioner failed to allege what substantial public policy was violated by his termination. The petitioner stated nothing on the face of the amended grievance to articulate what substantial public policy was violated,” the justices wrote. “It is not enough to make conclusory statements about the violations.

“We find no error in the administrative law judge’s use of a procedural rule allowing the dismissal of grievances that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or in the circuit court’s affirmation of that act.”

Justice Margaret Workman, who had disqualified herself from the case, did not participate in the Court’s decision.

via W.Va. high court upholds archives director’s firing | West Virginia Record.

Trash talking: City, unions disagree over garbage collection – Norwalk Citizen

Members of the American Federation of State, Municipal and County Employees AFSMCE Local 2405 spoke outside Norwalk City Hall during a press conference Tuesday, the day private trash contractors’ bids were due for consideration. Members chose not to submit a bid and reiterated their opposition to the city’s continued efforts to privatize public trash collection.

“We love what we do. We take great pride in it,” said Milton Giddiens, president of AFSMCE Local 2405.

“A lot of us grew up in Norwalk. We do what we are supposed to. We put our heart into it and as far as we are concerned, the mayor just stabbed it.

“The City of Norwalk’s bogus invitation to our members to bid on the sanitation service is like asking them to reapply for their own jobs–it is insulting and demoralizing. It is clear to us that Norwalk is not going through the complicated and lengthy RFP process, at taxpayers’ expense, to award the contract to the existing workforce.”

Larry Dorman, public affairs coordinator for AFSCME, said that members did have a serious discussion about the pros and cons of submitting a bid, but everyone agreed it was the principle and proper position to take to not submit a bid.

“In essence we would be put in a position of bidding against ourselves and our own work,” Dorman said.

Norwalk’s Director of Public Works Harold Alvord said Wednesday that the city received two proposals from “reputable, established companies in Fairfield County.”

The Stamford-based companies are City Carting and Recycling and Finocchio Brothers, Inc.

Alvord pointed out that the city is proposing outsourcing, not privatizing.

“The city would still provide garbage collection to the residents that currently get garbage collection, the only difference is we would be using a private company to do is as opposed to city employees,” Alvord said. “Privatization would mean the city would simply stop providing garbage collection, and every resident would have to get their own collection.

“I understand that the unions are going to fight it. But from my view what we are proposing is nothing but a win, win, win situation,” he continued. “The residents who are getting a service continue to get the service, the city gets to provide the service at a lower cost and the employees currently involved in that service don’t lose their jobs.

“The frustration here is the implication is that the city is doing something surreptitious or illegal or sneaky… . It’s disconcerting quite honestly, for our staff who works hard… . There is a general attitude that we are all incompetent boobs, no matter what we are talking about. In the city of Norwalk the residents are getting one heck of an effort out of their city staff.”

Alvord explained that outsourcing was originally proposed three years ago in contract negotiations with the union as a cost saving measure. Based on estimates, the first year savings would be $360,000 and each year after would be $950,000. Alvord said the city will know actual savings when negotiations are completed. “When we began to do the analysis of what the cost is to do garbage collection with our in-house people versus the potential savings of contracting it out, it was clear there was an opportunity to save quite a bit of money,” Alvord said. “Amongst the cost of doing it in-house is workers comp and injuries to city employees. Our sanitation staff represents 10 percent of the department, but they account for 42 percent of the workers comp costs.”

Alvord said that nobody would lose their jobs.

“As vacancies have occurred during the time that we were in negotiations, mediation and arbitration with the union, we did not fill vacancies that our sanitation staff would be qualified to move into… in our highway section,” Alvord said.  read more…

via Trash talking: City, unions disagree over garbage collection – Norwalk Citizen.

MI: School union wants members bank account, credit card numbers to guarantee payments « Watchdog News

LANSING — A union president’s letter shows one school employee union planned to handle automatic dues collection of its members by demanding full payment at the start of the year or requiring its members to give a checking or savings account number or credit card for automatic monthly withdrawals.

Debbie Bence, president of the Plymouth-Canton Cafeteria Association, sent a letter to her union members on June 4 stating that the dues had to be paid as a condition of employment.

To read the rest of the article, see Michigan Capitol Confidential.

via MI: School union wants members bank account, credit card numbers to guarantee payments « Watchdog News.

Torrington City Council approves firefighter union contract (with document)(UPDATED)- The Register Citizen

TORRINGTON — City councilors Tuesday unanimously approved a new three-year deal with the Torrington firefighters’ union, with the largest cost-savings coming from a change in medical insurance and a first-year, zero-percent wage increase.

The three-year contract between Torrington and International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1567 was “a great final piece of negotiations that didn’t have to end with arbitration or any of that,” Mayor Ryan Bingham said. “It’s a win for the city.”

In the first year of the contract, firefighters will not see an increase in pay, but in the following two years will see an overall 5 percent increase — a 2.5 percent per year. According to city officials, it’s the second time in a four-year span that firefighters have gone without an annual wage increase.

Anthem Blue Cross/ Blue Shield lost a “decades long association” with firefighters who, through the new contract, will switch their insurance to Cigna. The move is expected to save the city $437,707 over the three-year period. It also increases the amount of life insurance for each employee from $30,000 to $50,000 and from $3,000 to $10,000 for retirees.

Another new clause coming with the negotiation requires new Torrington Fire Department team members to live within 20 minutes of the Water Street headquarters, although attorney Victor M. Muschell said it’s “not a residency requirement.”

Muschell, in his summary of the contract, thanked the union for its “understanding and willingness to compromise for the good of all.”

Firefighters on staff can also expect the number of drivers receiving stipends to dip from four to three per shift, although Deputy Chief Gary Brunoli confirmed Tuesday night that staffing levels won’t be affected. The stipend the drivers receive will be increased, however, from $5 to $8.

via Torrington City Council approves firefighter union contract (with document)(UPDATED)- The Register Citizen.

Northwest Herald | Cary OKs public works deal

CARY – The Village Board on Tuesday approved a new three-year contract with its public works union. The contract is effective through April 30, 2015.

It contains the same wage increases as the police union contract approved last month.

The deal calls for a 1.75 percent pay increase in the first year, a 2 percent increase in the second year and a 2.25 percent increase in the third year.

As part of the deal, employees who are eligible for a 3 percent step increase for longevity will receive a six-month freeze. The freeze will affect 14 of the 19 employees in the union.

The regular step schedule will be re-established in May.

Employees in the union agreed to pay 15 percent of their PPO health insurance for the first year, 16 percent in year two, and 20 percent in year three of the deal. Employees who opt to take an HMO option will pay 13 percent of the premium in each year of the deal.

“It is believed that this bargaining unit will be more inclined to switch to HMO insurance than other members of the village due to the 22 percent savings of the HMO plan for premiums,” the village said in a memo to the Village Board.

As part of the deal, employees will receive a yearly $300 uniform allowance rather than having the village provide uniforms.

Trustee Jeff Kraus voted against the contract , just as he voted against the police union contract.

He said his vote was not a criticism of public works employees.

“I think you guys do a great job,” Kraus said. “In the current economic climate … I think this contract is a little too rich.”

The village and the union reached an agreement after three meetings.

“This is the quickest ratification we’ve had ever,” said Brian Smith, who was one of the public works employees to participate in negotiations.

In other action, the village board continued on the path of municipal aggregation by approving the village’s Municipal Plan of Operation and Governance. The plan outlines how the village will conduct the aggregation of the electricity load for residents and small-business owners.  read more…

via Northwest Herald | Cary OKs public works deal.

C-I Board approves teachers’ contract | The Isanti County News

The Cambridge-Isanti School Board has approved the teachers’ contract with Education Minnesota Cambridge-Isanti.

The contract was approved during a special school board meeting held Thursday, June 7.

The contract was approved for July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013 and includes a total package increase of 5.06 percent over two years.

Total package increase means increases in salary, FICA (Social Security and Medicare), teacher’s retirement, contributions toward medical  and dental insurance premiums and 403B matching contribution plan.

The contract was approved by a 5-0 vote with board members Lynn Wedlund and Mark Becker abstaining.

Director of Finance Robyn Vosberg-Torgerson explained the teachers received lane movement in both years. They received step movement in the first year, but not a monetary increase, and in the second year they will receive a step with a monetary increase halfway through the year and the salary schedule was increased by 1 percent.

Vosberg-Torgerson added for the top steps (or career increments) there was $600 added in the first year and an additional $500 added in the second year.  A defined contribution (flat dollar amounts) was agreed to for the insurance contributions and steps were given in both years to Schedule B, which is all of the athletic and activities positions (coaches/advisors).

During the meeting, board member Tim Hitchings made a request for the board to consider revisiting an equitable settlement for individuals who took a freeze for their contract during this contract negotiation period.

Discussion took place regarding this matter and a recommendation will be brought back to the school board for its regular meeting on Thursday, June 21.

 

via C-I Board approves teachers’ contract | The Isanti County News.

Appellate court sides with unions in San Diego pension reform challenge – KSWB

SAN DIEGO — City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s attempt to consolidate legal cases involving the voter-approved pension reform initiative, bypassing the state Public Employee Relations Board, was rejected Tuesday by a three- justice appellate panel.

Associate Justice Alex McDonald, with concurrence from 4th District Court of Appeal Justices Judith McConnell and Terry O’Rourke, ruled that PERB was the appropriate place to iron out disputes between backers of Proposition B and municipal labor organizations that opposed the ballot measure.

The city’s unions believe the initiative, approved by 66 percent of the voters in the June 5 election, should have triggered a requirement for the city to meet with them regarding its terms before it was placed on the ballot. They claim that since Mayor Jerry Sanders was among its primary backers, Proposition B was a city-sponsored initiative.

Goldsmith said it was a citizen’s initiative that does not require the meet-and-confer process in advance. He said no law exists in which the support of an elected official changes such a ballot measure into one that is city- sponsored.

The ruling did not address substantive issues other than to say the unions had some evidence to back their claims.

“It’s all procedural,” Goldsmith told City News Service. “We were trying to short-circuit going through PERB.”

He said the process of resolving litigation will be delayed since it will go through an administrative law judge and the PERB Board of Directors before being appealed to the same court that issued today’s decision.

“We tried. It’s a matter of time and expense,” Goldsmith said.

Proposition B calls for new employees other than police officers to be given 401(k)-style plans instead of being enrolled in the debt-ridden pension system. Also, workers will only be able to figure their base salaries over the next five years into the eventual retirement payouts.

The meet-and-confer process with unions only comes into play now — after passage — to discuss implementation, Goldsmith said. He said he sent letters to the labor organizations inviting them to meet, has received positive responses and has even held a couple of informal get-togethers.

Implementing the terms of the ballot measure in a manner fair to both sides should not be difficult, he said.

Meanwhile, the city and unions have a status hearing scheduled in court on Friday.

via Appellate court sides with unions in San Diego pension reform challenge – KSWB.

‘GASB won’t let me’ — A false objection to public pension reform – Pensions & Investments

“Retirement system too far in debt for reform”

This jarring headline, reporting the conclusions of a legislative study group in Virginia last year, crystallized the prime objection to pension reform nationwide. It is the pension world’s version of Catch-22: even if the traditional defined benefit system is broken at its core, it’s too costly to scrap; the best you can do is patch it up and carry on.

It might seem improbable that huge unfunded liabilities would be proffered as the reason not to adopt alternatives designed to prevent new unfunded liabilities. And yet, this claim has effectively stymied reform in state after state.

The public pension fund industry and its allies (public employee unions, money managers and some consulting actuaries) claim that closing an old DB plan and enrolling new employees in alternative plans requires an acceleration of payments to amortize the old plan’s unfunded liability. This creates unpalatable transition costs, raising employer contributions in the short run.

Most commonly, the argument rests on an accounting rule of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. GASB currently defines an annual required contribution, specifies its calculation and requires pension funds to report it. The ARC includes amortization. For ongoing plans, GASB allows funds to back-load the amortization, letting it rise with employee wages as a “level percent of payroll.” But if the old DB plan is closed to new entrants, the payroll of plan members shrinks and GASB requires a shift to “level dollar” amortization — no longer back-loaded.

The costs of accelerated amortization are readily quantified by pension fund actuaries, and the dollar amounts can reach billions for plans with large unfunded liabilities. As Keith Brainard, research director of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators recently put it, “Generally speaking, the more underfunded a plan is, the more expensive it is to try to switch.” Invariably, this deters lawmakers from fundamental reform.

Most actuaries know this argument is false, but the facts are not widely trumpeted. The concepts are arcane, so lawmakers often defer to the assumed expertise of the pension fund industry. Two facts are often glossed over, sowing great confusion.

The first point is simple: GASB does not determine funding policy and does not claim to. GASB sets standards for financial reporting.

Pension plans are required to report the ARC for comparison with actual contributions, but the contributions are set by each state’s statutory authority — the legislature or the pension board. These authorities are not bound by GASB accounting rules in setting funding policy, and contributions often differ from the ARC. To be sure, large shortfalls below often are a sign of fiscal irresponsibility. But the specific GASB rule for amortization on closed DB plans is not compelling on policy grounds.

The second point: GASB’s amortization rule assumes employer payments are based on the payroll of DB plan members alone. However, states can and do levy amortization charges on total payroll — old and new plans alike — and with sound justification. Employers are responsible for the unfunded liabilities of old members, regardless of what plan new members enter. The actuarial firm Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting LLC has stated the case well:

“If the (amortization) payment is calculated using the total payroll of members in both the DB and defined contribution plans, the dollar amount of the payroll is the same as if the DB plan were still open. As a result, the (unfunded liability) is amortized at approximately the same rate of pay as would occur if the DB plan had not been closed to new hires.”

In short, the key to successful reform is to base amortization on total payroll, rather than payroll of the closed plan alone. There is no policy reason to change amortization, if the previous pace was considered sound. That is what reform-oriented states such as Utah, Rhode Island and Alaska have done, as they switched to DC, cash balance and hybrid plans. Other states considering reform might follow their lead, undaunted by the false claim that GASB rules require them to accelerate amortization payments.

In fact, GASB intends to drop the entire ARC construct, so the ARC amortization rule will likely disappear. Regardless, neither the rule itself, nor, more importantly, sound policy, requires accelerated payments.

The underlying problem with traditional DB plans is that benefits are not tied to contributions. Idiosyncratic formulas (“rule of 80,” “25 and out”) lead to chronic funding problems, distorted retirement decisions and gross inequities between mobile and career employees. Reforms that tie benefits to contributions address these problems. The obstacle is the purported link between amortization and future benefits.

How to structure amortization payments on the unfunded liability is a financial policy decision, not much different from the decision on scheduling ordinary debt service payments. How to structure future benefits is a separate policy decision.

Pension reform proposals should be evaluated on their own merits and not conflated with amortization schedules. Amortization pays for past debts; pension reform lays a path toward a responsible future.

Robert Costrell is professor of education reform and economics at the University of Arkansas, and fellow at the George W. Bush Institute. This article is taken from a longer paper that is available from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation

via ‘GASB won’t let me’ — A false objection to public pension reform – Pensions & Investments.