The challenges facing public pension programs are nationwide – states, counties, and municipal governments from almost every state are beginning to reckon with the promises made to employees over the course of generations, and the fiscal realities of both meeting those obligations while at the same time realizing that promises made for prior generations are not fiscally sustainable for future ones.
Floridians look at places like Detroit, California, Chicago, and others and rightly worry that we could find ourselves in the same position. While Florida’s statewide retirement system, which covers state government, the State University System, and county/school district employees is considered relatively sound financially, it maintains this position as a direct result of hundreds of millions of dollars from state appropriations every year. At the municipal level, the problem is much more dire – pension funds from large and small cities around the state present as a ticking time bomb, where retiring workers’ benefits will vastly outnumber the resources available to meet them.
JMI will continue to work to advance the concepts of defined contribution programs for new public sector employees, along with market-based reforms that better illustrate the financial situations of public pension programs.