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Friday, December 30, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "A pension fund crisis is looming for Indiana" [Updated Twice]

Ind. Econ. Digest has republished this Dec. 29th editorial by Mark Miller, former publisher and editor, Bluffton News-Banner, headed "A pension fund crisis is looming for Indiana."

It follows on an Oct. 1, 2016 opinion column in the IBJ by Cecil Bohanon and Bill Styring, headed "Government pension plans don't always pay up."

A response letter headed "State can’t ignore its obligations to pensions," from former state budget director Philip Conklin, was published in the IBJ a few weeks later:

In response to a recent column by Bill Styring and Cecil Bohanon, I would like to comment that there is little risk for retired teachers and public employees not receiving benefits as the Indiana General Assembly would be under mandate to provide funds for retirement benefits.

Under the administration of Gov. Ed Whitcomb that attempted to withhold certain funds appropriated to the Teachers Retirement Fund due to a shortfall in state revenue, a Boone County court ruled that the administration could not withhold such funds as the state of Indiana has a contract supported by law with retirees.

Thus, the administration and the Indiana General Assembly would be under a mandate to fulfill their legal obligation to pay retiree benefits regardless of the fiscal condition of the state.

Interesting. The ILB is attempting to find this opinion. So far, I have located a story in the $$ August 6, 1972 Indianapolis Star archive that mentions cutbacks in the teachers pension fund that occurred during the Governor Branigin and "the early administration of Governor Whitcomb," continuing:
Boone Circuit Court has ruled the money must be paid by the state to the teacher's pension fund. The case is on appeal to the Supreme Court.
Anyone happen to have a copy or know the cites?

[Updated at 11:39 a.m.] The ILB has already received an answer to its "what case was that" question, from a self-described "former Daniels staffer who is an anonymous, loyal reader." The case is Etherton v. Wyatt, 293 N.E.2d 43 (1973).

[More at 12:20 p.m.] And here, thanks to the Supreme Court Library, is the official opinion as it appears in the Reports of the Court of Appeals of Indiana, Vol. 155.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 30, 2016 10:35 AM
Posted to Indiana Government