Magazine article Government Finance Review

Brookings Studies Recent Pension Reform Efforts

Magazine article Government Finance Review

Brookings Studies Recent Pension Reform Efforts

Article excerpt

Pension Politics: Public Employee Retirement System Reform in Four States--part of the Brookings Institution's public pension reform series--provides policy recommendations and examines recent reform efforts in four states with diverse political climates. Two of the states (Utah and Rhode Island) succeeded in passing significant structural changes to their pension systems, while the others (New Jersey and Illinois) enacted more limited, less innovative changes. The report highlights activities that have and have not been successful in producing meaningful reform, and details a number of recommendations for other states seeking to successfully improve their underfunded pension systems. Key recommendations include:

* Avoid turning pension reform into an ideological issue. The conversation around pension reform should focus on the numbers and the need to put the system on a sustainable path.

* States need a credible and visible reform champion. Given the contentious nature of pension reform, the credibility, visibility, and skill of the messenger are very important. …

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