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Hearings Held to Restore Defined Benefits

February 15, 2009
Last week, the Senate held the first hearing to help restore defined benefits.  The Chair of the (S) Labor and Commerce Committee, Senator Joe Paskvan (D-Fbks), scheduled a hearing on SB 23 last Thursday.  

The billís sponsor, Senator Elton, gave eloquent testimony beginning with a review of the history of SB 141, the infamous legislation that squeaked through by one vote during a special session four years ago and led to the 401-k style plans for new employees today.  He recalled that the impetus for the change was the unfunded liability but then stressed that it was Tier I causing the problems, a program now closed for twenty years.

Senator Elton cited a report from the Division of Retirement and Benefits showing that the cost of PERS Tier III and TRS Tier II were nearly the same as the new Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (DCRP) and he lamented the problems with recruitment and retention. 

Current Media on Efforts to Restore Defined Benefits
Description Source / location Date  
Legislature debates a proposal to repeal the new retirement system that passed in 2005 APRN Feb 9, 2009 Defined benefits
Stock market losses subtract $3 billion from state retirement accounts Daily News Miner Feb 7, 2009 Retirement loss

Previous articles on PERS/TRS and other retirement issues.
Description Date
pension obligation bond's potential to fund a large percentage of the unfunded liability June 20, 2008
 farm investments bolstering earnings to PERS/TERS June 13, 2008
private sector returns to defined benefits June 2008


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