Pension costs threaten higher-ed affordability

rising costs of higher education are making college unaffordable for many students and their families. Federal and state support is central to promoting college affordability; however, persistent state budget constraints have limited funding for public colleges. GAO was asked to study state policies affecting affordability and identify.

Opponents of the proposed Tier 6 pension reform like to point out that the average annual benefit paid by the state pension system in 2011 was $19,151 – "not a big amount for someone whose [sic] gave a lifetime of service," as the Public Employees Federation (PEF) puts it in a letter and blast fax to state legislators.

Retirement costs now consume more than 50 percent of all state spending on higher education State spending on higher-education retirement costs vs. spending on operations (in billions) Note: State spending on retirement costs includes pensions, health care and pension obligation bonds. See appendix for more information.

On Friday, The New York Times ran a story called "Higher Education in Illinois Is Dying" and cited rising pension costs as a major factor in the state’s budget woes. Similarly, in our recent report on pensions in the state of Illinois, we noted illinois taxpayers are now contributing more toward teacher pensions alone than for all of the state’s public colleges and universities combined.

rising public pension cost of PERS. Through senate bill 1566, Oregon lawmakers established the Employer Incentive Fund, which allows public employers (including public higher education institutions) to tap their own reserves and make extra one-time contributions to the pension fund to reduce liabilities.

However, for the state’s five biggest cities, the question of affordability is more important than mismanagement. Despite rate increases, property tax revenues have not been keeping up with pension costs in New Haven, Hartford, and Stamford.

said: “Since its introduction, automatic enrolment has successfully drawn in millions of new savers to workplace pensions, but the motherhood penalty’, which already impacts women’s income, threatens.

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Reported Funded Ratios of Public Pension Plans (Fiscal Year End 2015) Review of Reported 2015 Funded Ratios ased on plans’ reported numbers Not normalized for a common assumption set Represents 103 large pension plans with $1.9 trillion in assets and $2.6 trillion in liabilities 6