Intense media coverage of the public pension funding crisis continues to fuel heightened awareness in and debate over public pension benefits. With over $3 trillion in assets currently under management, the ramifications of poor oversight are severe. It is important that practitioners, researchers, and taxpayers be well-advised regarding any concerns, but until now traditional references have provided very little coverage.
State and Local Pension Fund Management provides a basic and systematic discussion of all the major issues facing those responsible for state and local public retirement programs. The author begins with a technical overview that examines the history of the public pension system. He then proceeds to examinations of pension benefit design, actuarial valuation and funding methods, financial reporting, and pension asset investment management.
These technical discussions prepare readers for the second component, which is a focus on policy. The book delves into issues such as managing public pension programs in the political context of public budgeting, pension benefit reforms, and the fairness and sustainability of pension benefits in the public sector. In addition, the author dedicates a chapter to a detailed discussion of other postemployment benefits (OPEBs) such as life, disability, and long-term care insurance, as well as healthcare subsidies. The book concludes by exploring the dilemma over how to ensure financial security for public employees in their retirement without putting additional pressure on state and local government finance.
By understanding the major issues involved in managing retirement benefit programs in the public sector, readers will gain the knowledge needed to make informed decisions regarding specific fund management. They will also be better able to participate in the debate over the larger issues regarding pension fund policy and reform measures.
Table of Contents
Examining the State and Local Pension Plan Management
A Brief History of State and Local Public Pension Plans
Public and Private Sector Pension Benefits
State and Local Pension Systems
Growth of Public Pension System Assets
Pension Benefit Design
Regular Service-Related Benefits
Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) Program
Adequacy of Public Pension Benefits
Actuarial Valuation and Financial Reporting
Actuarial Cost Methods
Financial Reporting and Accounting Standards
Governing Public Pension Plans
Public Pension Benefit Protection
Public Pension Plan Administration
Public Pension Plan Oversight
Overall Objective of Investment Management
Pension Plan Management and the
Underfunded Pension Plans
Overfunded Pension Plan
Pension Contribution Stabilization Methods
Defined Contribution Pension Plan
Defined Benefit (DB) Plan
Defined Contribution (DC) Plan
Public Sector Defined Contribution Plan Experience
Cash Balance Plan
Defined Contribution Plan Design Issues
Other Postemployment Benefits
Healthcare for Retirees
GASB Statements 43 and 45
Dealing with OPEB Liability
Managing Pension Liability Growth
Managing Pension Asset Growth
Changing Pension Benefit Design
To view the complete Table of Contents, please visit the CRC Press website.
The current economic recession due to the collapse of major financial institutions is having a devastating effect in both the public and private sectors on pension funds. Just one example is the potential havoc to hundreds of thousands of pensions for active and retired auto industry workers with respect to the near bankruptcy of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The newest addition to the outstanding CRC Press series of 147 volumes on Public Administration and Public Policy and as a part of their Comprehensive Public Education publishing program, State and Local Pension Fund Management by Jun Peng (Associate Professor, School of Public Administration and Policy, Eller college of Management, University of Arizona) is a detailed, comprehensive, academically impressive, yet thoroughly accessible introduction to every aspect of pension fund management beginning with an historical overview, then providing chapters on pension benefit design elements, actuarial valuation and financial reporting, pension plan governance standards and oversight policies, management issues for investing pension funds, and pension fund management planning and operational budgets. Of special note are the chapters on post-employment benefits with respect to pension plans (including healthcare for retirees), and the 'Defined Contribution Pension Plan'. Concluding with addressing such issues as managing the growth of liabilities and assets, as well as changing pension benefit designs, "State and Local Pension Fund Management" is a complete course of study in a single volume, and a critically important addition to corporate, governmental agency, and academic library Economics Studies reference collections in general and Pension Plan Management reading lists in particular.