US - The Connecticut Education Association (CEA) has demanded state lawmakers find a solution to plug the unfunded pension liabilities in the state teachers' pension fund that ballooned by almost US$2bn in the past two years.
An actuarial study by Larry Langer, actuary of the State Retirement Board (STRB), showed the state teachers’ pension fund unfunded liabilities had grown from $5.2bn to $6.9bn over the last two years.
“Today, like last year, teachers are urging lawmakers to adopt a long-term solution to pension underfunding,” said Phil Apruzzese, president of the CEA. “It’s time for legislative leaders and the state treasurer to sit down and hammer out the details of a long-term solution.”
He claimed the state must come to terms with the reality of the situation and the issue should be the first order of business when the state general assembly opens in January.
The teachers spent last year lobbying for better pension funding and the actuarial report showing the state of affairs had not improved did nothing to raise their spirits.
CEA Executive Director John Yrchik said, “Connecticut teachers pay their required contribution, and they expect the state to do the same. Instead, the promise of long-term security for their pensions has been broken.”
In spite of the sour taste left by the report, CEA leaders credited legislative leaders and the governor for a step forward made last year.
They had agreed to budget the full biannual appropriation for the teachers’ pension system. The fund received an infusion of $246m for the financial year 2006/2007.
Prior to this, the fund had received adequate actuarial funding only once in the previous 13 years.
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