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    Do Public Pensions Help Recruit and Retain High-Quality Workers?

    Do public pensions help recruit and retain high quality workers? The Center for Retirement Research at Boston’s 2014 brief addresses the question. Here are the findings: Research shows that pensions help recruit and retain high-quality workers; thus, cutbacks in public pensions could hurt worker quality. One indicator of quality is the wage that a worker can earn in the private sector. Using this measure, states and localities consistently have a “quality gap” – the workers they lose have a higher private sector wage than those they…

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    Pension ‘reform’ would cost taxpayers $358 million

    If you received a bill in the mail that contained $700 in hidden fees, you’d be furious — right? That’s exactly what could happen to you if you live in Phoenix. Voters will be asked in November to gut the system that provides thousands of Phoenix’s dedicated public servants with a modest, but secure retirement. A recent study by the city’s actuaries shows this pension initiative could cost taxpayers a minimum of $358 million over the next 20 years, a sum that will cost every Phoenix…

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Do Public Pensions Help Recruit and Retain High-Quality Workers?

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 9.33.13 AM

Do public pensions help recruit and retain high quality workers? The Center for Retirement Research at Boston’s 2014 brief addresses the question. Here are the findings: Research shows that pensions help recruit and retain high-quality workers; thus, cutbacks in public pensions could hurt worker quality. One indicator of quality is the wage that a worker can earn in the private sector. Using this measure, states and localities consistently have a “quality gap” – the workers they lose have a higher private sector wage than those they…

Phoenix to rue pension ‘voodoo economics’

I know The Arizona Republic editorial board and the Goldwater Institute and the three conservatives on the Phoenix City Council will never mention it, but, to borrow a phrase from President George H.W. Bush, the “voodoo economics” of the pension plan to soon be on the Phoenix ballot doesn’t take an MIT graduate to figure out. Read more

ACTION Alert! Call and Email Arizona Legislators ASAP!

On Monday, the Arizona House narrowly defeated House Bill 2058, Rep. John Kavanagh’s bill to cap “pensionable contributions” in the Arizona retirement system at $150,000. This measure was intended as an anti-pension-spiking reform, but according to state pension experts it will do the exactly opposite. Not only is the $150k cap locked in place with no adjustments for inflation, it will actually serve to condone pension spiking up to that limit. This will cause the state system to lose tens of millions of dollars in…

Last Night’s Telephone Town Hall

For those who participated in our tele town hall on Wednesday, thank you! If you missed out, you can listen here:

Phoenix Pension Reform Act Poses Threat to City Workers and Funds

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The so-called Phoenix Pension Reform Act – funded and pushed to the ballot by out-of-state dark money and by shadow groups like the “Arizona Free Enterprise Club” – may well qualify for the city election ballot later this year. The backers of this measure used paid circulators to gather more than 54,000 signatures, or about twice the 25,480 verified signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot. The measure claims to do two things: One, “end the illegal practice of pension spiking,” and two,…

Tele Town Hall

To those of you who participated in our tele-town hall, thank you. Your engagement is vital to our success in the fight to protect public worker pensions. For those of you who missed it, you can find the recording below. Your compelling questions and eagerness to take action are inspiring and we hope you join us  in continuing our discussion at the next tele-town hall.

PBS Gave Back Arnold’s Money; Tell Pew to Get a Clue

After an investigation revealing the funding behind PBS’s Pension Peril series, PBS returned the money to the Arnold Foundation. We think Pew Trusts, also known to have received funding from the Arnold Foundation for studies supporting John Arnold’s position on pension reform, should do the same. Go to whataboutyoupew.com to tell Pew Trusts that they won’t be able to restore their reputation as an impartial, transparent entity until they return Arnold’s money.

Arizona Legislature Bills to Watch, 3/3/14

HB2056 retirement; return to work Sponsor: Representative John Allen Summary: Prohibits any form of return to work program once a person retires. Status: Assigned to a House Retirement Committee but not put onto an agenda. This bill is “dead” for the session unless it gets re-introduced as a strike-everything amendment somewhere in the legislative process. HB2049 retirement plans; compensation; definition Sponsor: Representative John Allen Summary: Prohibits any performance pay (Classroom Site Fund/Prop 301 monies) from being included in the salary component for the purpose of…

Arizona Legislature Bills to Watch, 2/19/14

HB2058 public pension; limit on compensation Sponsor: Representative John Kavanagh Summary: Reduces the annual compensation that may be used to calculate a member’s ASRS, PSPRS, or CORP retirement benefit to $150,000 for members hired on or after the effective date. Bill status: Passed the House Retirement Committee on February 18 by a vote of 7-0. Went to House Caucus on February 18. Ready for House Committee of the Whole (COW). Background: Representative Kavanagh testified in the House Retirement Committee that the intent of this bill…

Grand Canyon Institute Releases New Study: Arizona Pension System on Road to Recovery

PHOENIX–A new study by the Grand Canyon Institute found Arizona’s public employee pension system is on the road to recovery following The Great Recession.  The study called “Arizona’s Pensions: On Track to Financial Sustainability with Retirement Security” shows reforms already in place, combined with some longstanding sound Arizona practices, have the state’s pension system on solid ground. The study also analyzed the legislature’s efforts to replace defined-benefit pension programs with a riskier defined-contribution, or 401 (k), retirement plans, and found that switching to defined-contribution plans…

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