US - The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) has labelled a damning report by Deloitte on public pensions as misleading and "manufacturing a crisis.
The Deloitte report claimed public-sector retirement costs posed a serious threat to state and local governments and called on officials to confront runaway public pension expenses or risk voter backlash as these costs hit taxpayers in the pocketbook.
Recent studies paint a grim picture.. and the problem will only get worse with the impending huge wave of baby boomer retirements, it said.
But NCPERS said the report provided little in the way of well-researched facts on public pension plans, and Hank Kim, executive director at NCPERS, added: It is unfortunate that a reputable firm would misrepresent the true state of pensions... and I’m surprised a company would do so without ensuring that its own pension plan is adequately funded.”
Kim claimed the vast majority of public pension plans were well funded and prepared to meet all obligations now and in the future, and went on to say public pension plans were not necessarily more costly than 401(k) plans.
Purporting to present solutions to a so-called “public pension crisis,” the report cherry-picks information from publicly available surveys in order to manufacture a crisis, said Kim.
He also questioned the report's claim that private companies were shifting from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans
NCPERS research shows that nearly 350 of the Fortune 500 companies offer DB plans to their employees and according to a recent study by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, employers are not rushing to freeze their plans to new participants, he said.
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