The December issue looks at the work states face to deal with the health care needs of an aging population and new approaches to teacher evaluations.
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September 28, 2012
Governmental Accounting Standards Board
401 Merritt 7
PO Box 5116
Norwalk, CT 06856
Dear Mr. Attmore:
Our organizations, representing state and local government officials across the United States, recognize that the Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB) new pension accounting standards focus entirely on how pension costs should be calculated. They do not address, however, how employers should calculate their annual required contribution (ARC). Because of this de-linkage, we recognize that state and local governments will need to develop guidance on how employers calculate the ARC.
To address this need, our organizations are engaged in an ongoing effort to develop a set of pension funding policy guidelines. Our collaborative pension funding policy guidelines will be designed around an actuarially determined ARC and would address the following general policy objectives in an integrated way: funding discipline; intergenerational equity; contributions as a stable percentage of payroll; and accountability and transparency in reporting. Furthermore, this development effort recognizes that a pension funding policy for state and local governments ought to address three core elements: actuarial cost method; asset smoothing; and amortization.
The last decade has been a sobering time for government leaders and pension plan sponsors. Actuarial practice is changing and will continue to evolve in the years ahead. An effective way for governments to make prudent decisions about their retirement plans is to have a pension funding policy that guides them over the long term. The first section of our draft “Pension Funding Policy Guidelines” (attached) is intended to provide a framework for policy leaders to update their pension funding policies.
William Pound, Executive Director
National Conference of State Legislatures
David Adkins, Executive Director
Council of State Governments
Donald J. Borut, Executive Director
National League of Cities
7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800
444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069