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May 16, 2013 / jimnv

Excellent Article: ALEC Inspired Assault on Public Employee Retirement in the Nevada Legislature

Yet another “Excellent Article from the DesertBeacon called: “ALEC Inspired Assault on Public Employee Retirement in the Nevada Legislature” by the Desert Beacon, May 16, 2013.

The article mentions AB 342 which proposes a hybrid system for state employees (public employees) hired after July 1, 2014. The proposal would create individual trust accounts paid into by the public employer at a 6 percent rate. The bill was introduced by Randy Kirner a Republican Assemblyman from Reno.

Why in the world would the legislature change a retirement system that currently pays its way and is well run? PERS is not broken as so many public employee haters will say so let’s not fix it.

The system has over 28 billion dollars in it, and the unfunded liability is being reduced each year as PERS promised. This is done by increasing contribution rates, and having an investment team focused on financial success. Even with the recent economic melt down, PERS is still healthy and earns over 8 percent on its investments overall.

The conservative Chicken Littles in Nevada would have everyone believe there is a crisis when there is none. Creating a defined contribution plan will mean lower retirement benefits and increased administrative costs. Most shockingly (or not), those who benefit the most from defined contribution plans are administrators, lawyers and financial managers, the very people who caused the nation’s financial meltdown in 2008. For them, Nevada’s public employee retirement plan would be just another fund with which to gamble.

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One Comment

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  1. Lawrence Cassidy / May 16 2013 9:38 pm

    Excellent comments, Jim! I most especially agree with and like your reference to “Chicken Littles” and the points made in your last paragraph. As you know, I am a registered Republican, and I consider myself conservative on many economic and social issues. I am sure that many so-called Republicans would try to belittle me by calling me a RINO. They can call me what they want. However, greed and self-interest are their prime motives, not mine. Like you, I am just an average American citizen who wants justice, reason, and fair play to prevail over those who are motivated by insatiable greed and self-interest. PERS is not broken, and it is well managed. Likewise, the unfunded liability is being prudently and intelligently reduced. Those that say that PERS is broken and demand that it be fixed are liars, fraudsters, and con artists, trying to deceive the people for their own financial and political gain. Indeed, they are Chicken Littles.

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