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State Net: Brown Pitches Major CA Pension Overhaul

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has proposed a 12-point plan to reform public employee pensions in the Golden State. Brown says he wants to put his proposal before voters in November 2012. The linchpin of Brown's plan would involve moving future workers from a defined benefit plan enjoyed by...

State Net Capitol Journal: Courts Reject Ambitious Pension Reforms

A pair of district courts have ruled that recent public pension reforms in Arizona and New Hampshire boosting the share current workers must contribute toward their retirement are unconstitutional. The courts ruled that both states broke their contracts with public employees because the contracts guarantee...

State Net Capitol Journal: FL Judge Sides against State in Pension Case

A Florida circuit court ruled last week that Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Republican legislative leaders' decision last year to cut public employee salaries to offset the state's contribution to their pension fund was an unconstitutional breach of contract. "The 2011 Legislature, when faced with...

State Net Capitol Journal: WV Commits to Paying Down Pension Debt

West Virginia's unfunded pension liability - estimated at $10 billion last year - is one of the highest per capita in the nation. But the state became a standout on the issue in a very different way last month when lawmakers approved legislation proposed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) - SB 469 - dedicating...

Pension and Postretirement Benefit Accounting

Pension and postretirement benefits represent a significant cost to employers. The Financial Accounting Standards Board has specified that postretirement benefits are a form of deferred compensation. FASB concluded that the obligation to provide postretirement benefits is incurred as the employee renders...

State Net Capitol Journal: Helping Workers Help Themselves

When Dr. Dena Davidson graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry in 1995, her expectations were pretty reasonable. "I knew being an optometrist was not going to make me rich," she says. "But I felt I would be fairly comfortable." To her, that meant...

State Net Capitol Journal: Pension Reform Hottest Hot Issue in Statehouses This Year

Legislation pertaining to pensions has been introduced this year in every state but six - Arkansas, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin - according to data compiled by State Net. And although pension measures have failed in 32 states, they've been enacted in 33. Pension bills are also...

Ballard Spahr LLP: New Pension Funding Interest Rates Require Employer Action

By Brian M. Pinheiro and Samantha E. McMillan On Friday [July 6th], President Obama signed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4348), which makes significant changes in pension law, including pension funding stabilization provisions and substantial increases to PBGC premiums...

State Net Capitol Journal: Pension Reforms Gain Necessary Traction in States and Cities

The specter of unfunded pension liabilities is haunting U.S. state and local government. These liabilities were an underlying factor in recent municipal bankruptcies in California. They hover over Pennsylvania, which is pondering pension reform while trying to rescue distressed cities. Anxiety over pension...

State Net Capitol Journal: Will pension reform save California cities from themselves?

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made public employee pension reform a benchmark of his 2012 agenda. For most of this year, however, his Democratic colleagues met his call with a pronounced lack of enthusiasm. But with the session winding down to its final minutes, lawmakers last week endorsed a plan...

State Net Capitol Journal: Snyder Says MI Will Appeal Retiree Health Ruling

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said his administration intends to appeal a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling [ AFT Mich. v. State , 2012 Mich. App. LEXIS 1632 (Mich. Ct. App. Aug. 16, 2012) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]] that declared unconstitutional a 2010 law requiring school...

State Net Capitol Journal: Pension Cuts Trim Only a Ninth of States' Unfunded Liabilities

Nearly every state in the nation has made cuts to its public-employee pensions in the past few years. But the measures have only chipped away a fraction of the enormous gap between what states have put into their retirement plans and what they've promised their workers. According to researchers at...

Government Accounting -- Accounting Issues in Pensions and Other Postemployment Benefits

By Edward W. Stepnick CPA, G. Robert Smith Ph.D. C.P.A. C.G.F.M and Dwayne N. McSwain CPA* Employee pensions and other postemployment benefits (OPEB), such as healthcare, life insurance, disability, and long-term care benefits, are significant elements of cost for state and local governments. This...

State Net Capitol Journal: Pension Problems Nothing New to IL

Illinois' $97 billion unfunded pension liability - among the largest in the nation - was apparently decades in the making. "Of principle concern to the Commission is the accumulation of large unfunded accrued liabilities resulting for the most part from the inadequacy of government contributions...