Printer Friendly

Unmasking Hidden Costs: Best Practices for Public Pension Transparency. Civic Report. No. 63.

ERIC Descriptors: Federal Government; State Government; Local Government; Government Employees; Retirement Benefits; Accountability; Municipalities; Disclosure; Access to Information; Costs; Politics of Education; Best Practices; Budgets; Teaching (Occupation); Teacher Retirement; Funding Formulas; Validity; Educational Finance; Public Policy

To read the full text of this article, click here: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED538886

In 2010, the pension plans of state and local governments came under increased scrutiny in response to their generally weak financial positions and mounting costs to taxpayers. By some measures, these funds are as much as $3 trillion short of the assets they would need to cover the promises they have made to government workers and retirees. However, several shortcomings in these funds' financial disclosures have made it difficult for even lawmakers and policy experts to accurately evaluate pensions' actual financial condition. There are several steps, over and above what the Government Accounting Standards Board already requires, that funds could take that would disclose their finances more fully. The recommendations lie in five areas: (1) Discounting; (2) Smoothing; (3) Accrual method; (4) Projections; and (5) Normal cost. These steps would make it easier to answer such questions as: How well funded is a given state's pension plan? How much does a public employee's pension in a given state cost? And what effects are pension costs likely to have on the next few years' budgets? The report also discusses which entities should be responsible for implementing these changes in disclosure policy. It argues that states should voluntarily adopt them, and that they should require municipalities to do so. The federal government should also take steps to encourage states to make the recommended disclosures. (Contains 3 tables and 18 endnotes.)

COPYRIGHT 2011 U.S. Department of Education
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Barro, Josh
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Feb 1, 2011
Words:342
Previous Article:STEM Performance: Improving Policy to Enhance Outcomes for Students--and States. The Progress of Education Reform. Volume 12, Number 1.
Next Article:Personalized Learning? Is There Anything New in the Ministry of Education Service Plan for 2011-12? BCTF Research Report. Section V. 2011-EF-03.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters