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News articles regarding pension issues with links to the complete article sent to MNREAM.org by Susan M. Barbieri, Communications Officer, Retirement Systems of Minnesota.
 
We apologize for the inconsistency of fonts etc. on this page. Many of the news items and information we receive is copied and pasted into this site to save time and money.
 
MINNESOTA NEWS CLIPS
2012 may be year of change in Farmington (Farmington - This Week Live © 01/05/2012) Save Indexed Jan 5 2012 10:02PM (Article ID 750335043)
relieving their already stressed 2011 budget. That relief was short-lived, because by February, the city was forced to de-plete its hard-won $45,841 contingency to cover losses in the firefighters’ Pension fund. In March, some council members discussed the possibility of seeking pay concessions from some senior staff members, including Herlofsky. Under Her-lofsky’s contract, which was up for

Bleak picture for retirement savings of
ower-income workers


The Mercury

The baby boomer generation may be considering retirement, but may be finding that their anticipated retirement savings may be very inadequate. Some fortunate older workers might have the benefit of a pension, but even pension plans have been unstable. ...

Many Workers in
Public Sector Retiring Sooner


New York Times

Still, even with lingering queasiness over jobs and the larger economy, there
are other signs that the mood of public workers is turning toward retirement, a
worrisome possibility for some already precarious, underfunded pension plans. ...

See all stories on this topic »


Will Pension Plans Run Out of Money?

Governing

Munnell's Boston College (BC) team has studied the implications of proposed
governmental accounting standards on the reported financial condition and funding
status of 126 public pension plans.
On the face of it, you'd think this stuff would

be about ...

Pension costs will pinch

Virginia Gazette

The Virginia Retirement System, including pensions for state employees and
teachers, is underfunded by $19 billion. The plan is only 70.6% funded for
state employees and 66.6% for

teachers. Pension plans are considered
adequately funded when 80% of ...

See all stories on this topic »


Rhode Island's
Landmark Pension Reforms


Governing

Rhode Island's state pension plan
is a mess, with very serious underfunding. This legislation addresses that problem
but leaves the dozens of municipal plans to fend for themselves.

That's unfortunate, because many of those local systems are clearly in ...

See all stories on this topic »   

Texas Teacher Pension-Fund Investments Lost 7% in Third Quarter

BusinessWeek

8 (Bloomberg) -- The 1.3 million-member Texas Teacher Retirement System lost 7 percent on investments in the third
quarter, a consultant to the plan
said, citing an underweight position in US Treasury securities. Including
payouts and contributions, ...

See all stories on this topic »

States expand
lucrative pensions to more jobs


Tucson Citizen

The growth of early retirement has helped fuel massive deficits in some of the
nation's largest public pension plans,
including the main California and Florida retirement systems. The deficits led
36 states in the past two years to take cost-control ...

See all stories on this topic » 

No Virginia,
there is no sanity clause


By
Phil Drake


The proposed new guidelines still would mean “a plan
can improve its GASB funding status literally by burning money,” according to
one expert. Pension officials, can “improve
their GASB funding status simply by taking on more risk, despite ...

Montana Watchdog 

IPERS should be
converted to deal with underfunding


DesMoinesRegister.com

Private companies have experienced first hand the problems inherent in defined
benefit pension plans. Many private
companies have switched to defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)s, where
employers pay an agreed upon periodic amount into each ...

See all stories on this topic »  

 

Wean public
sector off pensions


Arizona Republic

... police and firefighters --
should be placed in 401(k)s like the private sector. Taxpayers could match
dollar for their dollar up to 8 percent. This is far better than employees get
in the private sector. Most do not even have any retirement plans.

See all stories on this topic » 

Editorial:
Teacher pension fund fails


The Huntsville Times -
al.com (blog)


The retirement plan gets less
from the state if returns exceed 8 percent. The Birmingham News' David White reported
that investment returns on those assets for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30
were only 1.81 percent compared to the median of 2.15 ...

See all stories on this topic »  

State risks talent
drain by reducing benefits, JLARC says


Richmond Times
Dispatch


The study found that compensation for state employees ranked last in a comparison
with 15 major employers who compete for the same talent. with other employers
because of benefits such as the retirement
plan, especially for state employees hired before ...

See all stories on this topic »  

Switch From
Traditional Pension to 401(k)?
Not So Fast.


aiCIO

A small number of states have, in fact, made the switch from defined benefit to
defined contribution pension plans
for their public employees. One—Michigan—did so in 1997, a move which has saved
the state upwards of $4 billion, according to at least ...

See all stories on this topic » 

Do 401(k)s
Match Traditional Pensions?


U.S. News & World
Report (blog)


Those flaws were the reason Congress enacted the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act of 1974, commonly known as ERISA. It mandated extensive employee protections
in private pension plans. And in
an effort to improve those plans, ERISA also produced ...

See all stories on this topic » 

Stanford think
tank: Pension costs skyrocketing


San Jose Mercury News

California's public employee pension
plans face long-term shortfalls as high as $500 billion as costs skyrocket
each day, a Stanford University-based economic think tank said Tuesday in a
report that critics assailed as relying on faulty data to ...

See all stories on this topic »  

Retirement Fears Jump the Wealth Gap

MarketWatch (press
release)


42% for women), people who have investable assets of $250000 or more (56%)
versus those with $100000 to $250000 (37%), and those with detailed written retirement plans (52%). Members of the
media can obtain a full study by contacting Amy Hyland Jones ...

See all stories on this topic »  

7-8 Percent Pension Returns Are Not "Hopeful"

Business Insider

It noted that pension returns have been very low in recent years and then commented:
"Pension plans hope to make
up these lost years and reach performance targets that in some cases are still
set at a hopeful 7 to 8 percent a year. ...

See all stories on this topic » 

401K or Pension: Bill would make state workers
decide


The bill
would require employees covered by state pension plans to
decide whether to remain in the pension plan or
convert to a 401(k) system. Workers who choose to remain in the pension plan would have to contribute
4 percent of their ...

Up North Live - Local News 

Fixing the pension plan | The Herald - Rock Hill,
SC


South
Carolina's state pension system,
like many others around the nation, is unsustainable. Lawmakers need to revise
the benefits package to avoid a fiscal ...

www.heraldonline.com/2011/12/.../fixing-the-pension-plan.ht...  

Governor seeks
$2.2 billion for pension plans


Richmond Times
Dispatch


Bob McDonnell said today he will propose $2.2 billion in additional state and
local funding for state employee and teacher retirement plans to cover long-term pension obligations. McDonnell,
speaking on "Ask the Governor" on WRVA 1140 AM radio this ...

See all stories on this topic » 

 

Poll Finds
Boomers Less Optimistic About Retirement


Consumer Affairs

Despite the wide-spread availability of 401(k) retirement plans in the last two decades, only 39 percent of
near-retirees expect these tax-deferred funds to be a major source of
retirement income. Perhaps because of that, only 25 percent say they ...

See all stories on this topic » 

Pension plans should assume realistic returns

Sacramento Bee

By Joe Nation Earlier this week, we issued a report identifying the shortfalls
at CalPERS, CalSTRS and the University of California retirement plan. The report shows cumulative shortfalls that vary
depending on assumptions about investment rates of ...

See all stories on this topic »  

DiNapoli Proposes
 Commission to Address Retirement


aiCIO

"The Commission must develop strategies to assure the continued viability
of solid, well-funded defined benefit public pension plans and identify strategies to restore the finances of
plans that have fallen into disrepair, DiNapoli stated in a ...

See all stories on this topic »




Digging a pension hole

Chicago Tribune

The agreement that was supposed to steady the system is in tatters and the
state's pension plans are
running dangerously low on funds, casualties of neglect and political machinations
in Springfield. At the center of the crisis is the state's pension ...

See all stories on this topic »




Illinois' TRS
goes higher-risk with investments


Crain's Chicago
Business


Kellogg's Mr. Rauh estimates Illinois pension
plans will run dry by 2018, even if they chalk up 8% returns and the
state contributes enough to cover newly accrued liabilities. "There's a
school of thought that if you are very aggressive (in investing) ...

See all stories on this topic »






 
 


 

 

Lobbyist
  Spending Exploded in November


 
GoLocalProv

  The legislation that was ultimately signed into law by Governor Chafee forces
  teachers, state employees and the state-administered municipal plans (MERS) into a 401k-style
  hybrid plan, raises the retirement agent and suspends
  cost-of-living adjustments ...

 
See all stories on this topic »


 

 



 

 


 




Excellent news
for Illinois teachers: worst-funded retirement system ...


By
directorblue


The Illinois Teachers' Retirement System — the worst-funded major pension plan in the U.S. — is
pumping more of its assets into higher-risk investments while using accounting
methods that some pension experts say understate its funding ...

Doug Ross @ Journal





 
 


 


Americans being robbed of
  nest eggs?


 
89.3
  KPCC


  You've heard it before — the sound of big business crying out that it can't
  pay its pensions, or that employee retirement plans are a drain on its profits.
  This is simply not the case, argues Ellen Schultz, an investigative report
  for the Wall Street ...

 
See all stories on this topic
  »



 

 



 
89.3 KPCC


 


Henes: NYC is Pension Model for 21st Century?

CNBC.com

New York City is attempting to restructure the governance of its pension plans, which have more than
$100 billion under management. Since the economic crisis began, the media has
focused its attention on the underfunding of public pension plans, ...

See all stories on this topic »





 
 


 

 


 

 

 


 


Nebraska
Troopers file lawsuit against the state


The Republic

More than 400 current and former Nebraska State Troopers have filed a federal
lawsuit accusing lawmakers of violating their labor contract by forcing them to
pay more into their pension plan.
The lawsuit alleges that when the Legislature increased ...

See all stories on this topic »




GASB Update:
Latest News on Overall Process ...


By
Leigh Snell, Federal Relations Director


In response to its Exposure Drafts containing proposed changes to the accounting
and financial reporting for pensions by plan sponsors and to the financial
reporting for pension plans by the plans themselves,
GASB received 645 comment ...

Federal E-News




State Auditor
Otto Releases Pension Investment
Report


FireEngineering.com

State Auditor Rebecca Otto today released the Large Public Pension Plan Investment Report, which
reviews the investment performance of Minnesota's large public pension plans for the year ended
December 31, 2010. The individual large public pension ...

See all stories on this topic »





 
 

 

 


 

 

 

Rhode Island's
Landmark Pension Reforms


Governing


Rhode Island's state
pension plan is a mess, with very serious
underfunding. This legislation addresses that problem but leaves the dozens of
municipal plans to fend for themselves. 

That's unfortunate, because many of
those local systems are clearly in ...

See
all stories on this topic »







 

 




 

 



 

Michigan
  Senate OKs retiree benefit changes


  CBS
  News

  The GOP-led Senate approved a bill by a 23-13, mostly party line vote that
  would require employees covered by state pension plans to decide
  whether to remain in the pension plan or convert to a 401(k) system.
  Workers who choose to remain in the pension ...

 

 


 

 



 

 


 

 

Kansas panel
  opts for higher cost state retirement plan


  KansasReporter

  By Gene Meyer | Kansas Reporter TOPEKA — A plan to help fix Kansas'
  multibillion pension fund shortfall could cost taxpayers millions more
  dollars a year than its closest alternative. The Kansas Public Employees
  Retirement System Study Commission ...

  See
  all stories on this topic »



 

 



 












 


Texas Teacher Pension-Fund
Investments Lost 7% in Third Quarter


BusinessWeek

8 (Bloomberg) -- The 1.3 million-member Texas Teacher Retirement System
lost 7 percent on investments in the third quarter, a consultant to the plan
said, citing an underweight position in US Treasury securities. Including
payouts and contributions, ...

See
all stories on this topic »




States expand
lucrative pensions to more jobs


Tucson
Citizen

The growth of early retirement has helped fuel massive deficits in some of the
nation's largest public pension plans, including the main California and
Florida retirement systems. The deficits led 36 states in the past two years to
take cost-control ...

See
all stories on this topic »







Minnesota Teacher Retirement Association (TRA) Trustees and Contact Information

Martha Lee (Marti) Zins, President Elected Trustee (Retiree)
17509 Saddlewood Lane, Minnetonka, MN 55345
(952) 935-4976
martizins@comcast.net

Martha Lee (Marti) Zins, Board President and Elected Trustee (Retiree) of the Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) was a media specialist, then media director for the Hopkins School District.  Marti was elected to her sixth term on the Board of Trustees in 2009. She is a past president of the Minnesota Education Association (MEA), and represented Minnesota teachers as a director of the National Education Association (NEA).  A TRA trustee since 1989, Zins serves the needs of Minnesota teachers with a special emphasis on the expansion of automated services that increase accessibility of information to members and retirees throughout the state.  She works to maintain the funding stability of TRA and of defined benefit public pension plans.  

Term expires: June 30, 2013

 

Mary L. Broderick, Vice-President
Elected Trustee
1003 - 31st Avenue N, St. Cloud, MN 56303
(320) 493-7396
maryb@cloudnet.com


Mary Broderick, a teacher in St. Cloud since 1977, and president of the St. Cloud Education Association since 1996, was elected to her first four-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees in 2007. Mary also serves as president of the East Central Area Labor Council, sits on the Executive Board of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, and is a member of the Education Minnesota Council of Local Presidents. Mary is committed to helping retirees and active members increase their awareness, understanding, and involvement in pension issues, as well as working to maintain and improve teacher retirement benefits in Minnesota.

Term expires: June 30, 2015

 

Robert J. Gardner
Elected Trustee
3002 Virginia Avenue N., Crystal, MN 55427
(763) 546-9895
gardner.rbrt@gmail.com


Robert Gardner, an English teacher in the Edina school district since 2005, was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2009. Rob, who previously taught in St. Cloud, has been on the Education Minnesota Governing Board since 2002. He currently also serves as a member of the Education Minnesota Executive Committee. A former member of the National Education Association (NEA) Board of Directors and past president of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English, Rob is dedicated to improving pension benefits for all TRA members while maintaining strong, open communication with both active and retired members.
Term expires: June 30, 2013

 

Mary B. Supple
Elected Trustee
7300 Oakland Ave, Richfield, MN 55423
(612) 866-8829
mandmsupple@aol.com


Mary Supple is a sixth grade math and social studies teacher at Richfield Middle School. She currently serves as a negotiations team member for her local, Education Richfield. Past service has included the roles of local president, local governmental relations chair, member of the Education Minnesota Governing Board as well as the Political Action Committee, and member of the NEA Board of Directors. She is also currently involved with the Richfield League of Women Voters. Mary believes that all members of TRA, both active and retired, should have a voice and will work toward a goal of a stable, equitable pension system for all.
Term expires: June 30, 2013


Leighton M. Fritz
Elected Trustee
2178 S Clinton Dr, Winona, MN 55987
(507) 452-2993
lfritz@southeastmn.edu


Leighton Fritz, an accounting teacher at Southeast Technical College in Winona, was elected to his first four-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees in 2011.  Leighton has owned an accounting business since 2001, and has 30+ years of accounting experience in public, private and tax accounting.  Leighton is committed to using his professional experience to try and maximize the assets of TRA for current and future retirees.
Term expires: June 30, 2015