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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Hoosier lawmakers eye changes to state employee pensions"

Dan Carden reports in the NWI Times in a story that begins:

INDIANAPOLIS — Republican lawmakers who believe state government should not be providing lifelong pensions to its retired employees are crafting a plan for new public workers to give up their pensions — possibly without even realizing it.

Legislation expected to be filed next year at the General Assembly automatically would register new state employees as members of a 401(k)-style defined contribution retirement plan, unless the new hires submit additional paperwork and elect to join the state pension fund.

The sponsor of the measure, state Rep. Wes Culver, R-Goshen, said other states, including Illinois, have demonstrated that public pension funds are unsustainable, and Indiana instead should model its employee retirement benefits on what’s available in the private sector.

“It reduces the risk that 10, 20, 30 years down the road that the state will be unable to meet its obligation,” Culver said.

More from the long story:
However, unlike states undergoing pension crises, the Indiana Public Retirement System is by any objective measure financially prepared and sufficiently funded to meet its pension obligations, said Tony Green, INPRS chief legal officer.

That’s why state Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, said it doesn’t make sense to blow up Indiana’s public pension system and reduce the money most state workers will get in retirement, just because of a philosophical disagreement over the role of government.

She said defaulting employees into a defined contribution plan instead of the pension fund is taking advantage of typically financially unaware individuals at a time when most are either just happy to have a job, or overwhelmed by their new hire paperwork.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 15, 2016 12:36 PM
Posted to Indiana Government