Joe Dear is giving a pep talk to more than two dozen colleagues at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. As Dear paces before his people on this July afternoon in Sacramento, he implores them to shake off the funk of the pension fund’s recent troubles.
U.S. state pensions such as Illinois, Kansas and New Jersey are in a “death spiral,” with assets at many insufficient to cover benefits, payouts consuming a growing portion of resources and costs rising twice as fast as investment gains.
The Teacher Retirement System of Texas needs an annual return of 21 percent in the year ending Aug. 31 to maintain an 80 percent funded ratio, the level actuaries consider adequate to cover liabilities, said its deputy director.
Congressional Republicans are using scare tactics to push a bill blocking bailouts of state pensions as a way to undermine government unions, said John Stanton , a lawyer for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.