US - Milford's town government is considering pulling out from the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS) because of its funding level.
Jim Dannis, who sits on the Board of Selectmen, the executive arm of the town governnment, proposed that the town consider withdrawal from the NHRS because he claimed a well-designed, professionally managed, market-based plan run on a single-town basis could provide better retirement benefits for employees, less costs to taxpayers and a more flexible approach that better aligns employee and taxpayer interests.
The proposal was considered on Monday and the Board of Selectmen decided to investigate what might be required to exit from the NHRS.
Dannis said the NHRS was grossly under funded, and in the worst decile among government plans in the US.
“It uses unrealistic long-term return assumptions, which has the effect of understating the pension plan’s financial hole,” said Dannis.
He claimed the financial weakness of the pension plan was the result of a combination of poor investment returns, legislative raids on the system to fund other employee benefits, non-market pensions to some categories of employees, and lax oversight, which he said resulted in widespread and successful “gaming” of the system by many beneficiaries.
“The bottom line is that this is a mis-designed, mismanaged and mis-overseen plan, with the multi-billion dollar costs of the bailout, which are escalating each year to be paid by state and local taxpayers,” concluded Dannis.
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