State pensions unstable, employees retirement threatened

OCPAPensionThe Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs is announcing the results of their “Saving Workers’ Retirement” study to help find a better way for Oklahoma’s struggling public employees retirement system.

Currently, Oklahoma’s six open defined-benefit retirement plans exceed $11 billion in liabilities, and rose again last year. 

The “Saving Workers’ Retirement” results suggest Oklahoma should reform these broken plans and implement defined-contribution retirement plans for all non-hazard duty future employees. This plan can fully cap unsustainable retirement debt, will ensure pensions are sustainable for the future and allow for adequate funding of core government functions.

OCPAlogo“A defined-contribution plan for non-hazard duty employees is the only risk-free retirement plan that keeps promises to employees and protects both employees and taxpayers,” said Jonathan Small, vice president for policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. “Without pension reforms, the state is unlikely to keep its promise of providing retirement pay to their employees.”

The “Saving Workers’ Retirement” study highlighted government pension reform solutions to broken defined-benefit plans in Rhode Island, Michigan, California and Louisiana, which all saved taxpayers millions, and at times, billions of dollars. It also reviewed the economic consequences of inaction of pension reform in Illinois, which is on track to spend more on government pensions than education by 2016, and will increase state contributions by $6 billion.

OCPAInhofe“Real public retirement reform in Oklahoma will result in peace of mind about safe and secure retirement for public employees,” said Small. “It gives current employees control over their retirement, helps government keep its promises to retired employees while providing adequate funding of core services.”

OCPA’s mission is to accumulate, evaluate and disseminate public policy ideas and information for Oklahoma, consistent with the principles of free enterprise, limited government and individual initiative. Click here to read the study.