The Future of Public Employee Retirement Systems

Hardcover | September 15, 2009

EditorOlivia S. MitchellbyGary Anderson

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People covered by public pensions are often the subject of 'pension envy:' that is, their benefits might seem more generous and their contributions lower than those offered by the private sector. Yet this book points out that such judgments are often inaccurate, since civil servants hold jobswith few counterparts in private industry, such as firefighters, police, judges, and teachers. Often these are riskier, dirtier, and demand more loyalty and discretion than would be required of a more mobile labor force in the private sector. The debate challenges traditional ideas about how thepublic employee labor contract is structured and raises questions about how such employees are attracted to the public sector, retained and motivated on the job, and retired, via an entire compensation package of wages and benefits. Authors explore aspects of these schemes, addressing the cost andvaluation debate, along with the political economy of how public pension asset pools are perceived and managed, an increasingly important topic in times of global financial turmoil. The discussion also explores ways that public pensions can be strengthened in the US, Japan, Canada, and Germany. The volume captures a vigorous debate currently underway by academics, financial experts, regulators, and plan sponsors, all seeking to define a new future for public retirement systems. It will be of substantial interest to a wide range of readers, since public sector employees and theirrepresentatives will naturally find the comparisons and arguments over valuation of keen interest. Public pension administrators and policymakers seeking an explanation of what makes these plans so costly will gain a new understanding of how the arguments stack up. Private sector employers and plansponsors can learn much from efforts to reform these retirement systems in states and countries around the world. Finally, investors and the taxpaying public more generally may be at risk to cover these long-term promises, so it behoves them to pay close attention to the financing and investmentpractices of these plans, along with their valuation. This volume represents an invaluable addition to the Pension Research Council / Oxford University Press series as it includes actuarial, economic, and financial perspectives making it useful for academics, retirement plan administrators, and public employees wishing to understand the challengesfacing public pensions.

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People covered by public pensions are often the subject of 'pension envy:' that is, their benefits might seem more generous and their contributions lower than those offered by the private sector. Yet this book points out that such judgments are often inaccurate, since civil servants hold jobswith few counterparts in private industry, s...

Olivia S. Mitchell is the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor of Insurance and Risk Management, the Executive Director of the Pension Research Council, and the Director of the Boettner Center on Pensions and Retirement Research at the Wharton School. Concurrently Dr. Mitchell is a Research Associate at the Na...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pagesPublished:September 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199573344

ISBN - 13:9780199573349

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Table of Contents

1. Olivia S. Mitchell: The Future of Public Employee Retirement SystemsPart I: Costs and Benefits of Public Employee Retirement Systems2. Stephen T. McElhaney: Estimating State and Local Government Pension and Retiree Health Care Liabilities3. Jeremy Gold and Gordon Latter: The Case for Marking Public Plan Liabilities to Market4. M. Barton Waring: Between Scylla and Charybdis: Improving the Cost Effectiveness of Public Pension Retirement Plans5. Parry Young: Public Pensions and State and Local Budgets: Can Contribution Rate Cyclicality Be Better Managed?6. Ken McDonnell: Benefit Cost Comparisons Between State and Local Governments and Private Industry Employers7. Edwin C. Hustead: Administrative Costs of State Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution8. Toni Hustead: Thinking About Funding Federal Retirement PlansPart II: Implementing Public Retirement System Reform9. Raimond Maurer, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Ralph Rogalla: Reforming the German Civil Servant Pension Plan10. Silvana Pozzebon: The Outlook for Canada's Public Sector Employee Pensions11. Junichi Sakamoto: Unifying Pension Schemes in Japan: Toward a Single Scheme for Both Civil Servants and Private Employees12. Keith Brainard: Redefining Traditional Plans: Variations and Developments in Public Employee Retirement Plan Design13. Roderick B. Crane, Michael Heller, and Paul J. Yakoboski: Defined Contribution Pension Plans in the Public Sector: A Benchmark AnalysisPart III: The Political Economy of Public Pensions14. Robert L. Clark, Lee A. Craig, and Neveen Ahmed: The Evolution of Public Sector Pension Plans in the United States15. Brad M. Barber: Pension Fund Activism: The Double-Edged Sword16. Beth Almeida, Kelly Kenneally, and David Madland: The New Intersection on the Road to Retirement: Public Pensions, Economics, Perceptions, Politics, and Interest Groups