Public Employee Pension Plans

Foundation Publication Search Results

These summaries were compiled from Foundation Publications Search, a database of articles, research reports and books published by the International Foundation and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.


Protecting Pension Plans' Hard-Won Gains: Could Hedge Funds Play a Role?
Marenda, Joe; Benefits Magazine; v55 n11 pp 30-37 Nov 2018; journal article

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Abstract : Hedge funds may help pension plans protect their funded status in the event of a recession or stock market correction, but trustees should proceed with forethought when considering these differentiated but complex investments.
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What's Working: A New Path For Ontario University Pensions.
Hodder, Alyssa; Plans & Trusts; v36 no6 pp 4-5 Nov/Dec 2018; journal article

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Abstract : Moving to a multi-employer jointly sponsored pension plan (JSPP) model can provide relief from the financial pressures created by the pension funding regime of Ontario, with its focus on solvency funding. The JSPP model is based on going concern funding and prudent risk management by the joint sponsors and administrator.
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First Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Municipal Retiree Lawsuit.
Benefits Quarterly; v34 no3 pp 53-54 3rd Qtr 2018; journal article

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Abstract : Unions' challenges to changes to Rhode Island pension plans rejected.
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Governmental Plans Are Different: A Regulatory Overview.
Schwallie, Daniel; Benefits Quarterly; v34 no3 pp 38-49 3rd Qtr 2018; journal article

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Abstract : Many rules that otherwise apply to qualified retirement plans either do not apply to governmental plans qualified under Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a) or apply differently. This article provides a high-level introduction to governmental tax-qualified retirement plans and highlights many of the differences in applying rules of the Code. Differences in application of many of the rules are summarized in convenient tables. This article also briefly discusses the applicability of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to governmental plans.
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Arbitration Panel Enforces Employer Right to Unilaterally Amend Pension Plan.
Monteyne, Jules; Plans & Trusts; v36 no3 pp 30-31 May/Jun 2018; journal article

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Abstract : In a Saskatchewan Labour Arbitration decision, University of Saskatchewan v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1975, 2017 CanLII 85017, the majority of an arbitration panel ruled that the University of Saskatchewan had a largely unfettered right to amend its pension plan without need to negotiate such changes with the affected union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
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University Retirement Plan Lawsuit Advances.
Benefits Magazine; v55 no3 pp 56, 58 Mar 2018; journal article

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Abstract : The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois grants in part and denies in part the motion by the defendant university to dismiss claims by the plaintiff retirees alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions.
[0200900]

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Conflicts of Interest in Pension Litigation Do Not Go Unnoticed.
Zurakowski, Janeta; Plans & Trusts; v36 no1 pp 31-32 Jan-Feb 2018; journal article

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Abstract : The New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench removed a lawyer as solicitor of record in pension action against the province of New Brunswick and others after the province converted a public service pension fund from a defined benefit plan to a shared risk plan.
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Governance Matters: Improving Pension Plan Board Effectiveness.
Merker, Christopher K.; Benefits Magazine; v55 no1 pp 28-33 Jan 2018; journal article

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Abstract : Research indicates there is a strong relationship between pension plan governance and plan performance. Six key drivers of effective governance are listed.
[0200830]

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Employee Benefits Survey: 2018 Results
Held, Justin; Estrada, Rebecca; 76 pp 2018; survey

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Abstract : Results of the sixth comprehensive benchmarking survey conducted by the International Foundation. Includes data on health care, retirement, paid leave and work/life benefits offered by employers across the United States. The data represents responses from single employer (including corporations), multiemployer and public employer plans. Responses were gathered from members of the Foundation and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists during 2018.
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Fire Captain Ineligible for Pension Benefits Due to Harassment Allegations.
Benefits Magazine; v54 n12 pp 62-63 Dec 2017; journal article

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Abstract : The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirms the denial of pension benefits by the defendant board of appeals for the plaintiff fire captain accused of sexual harassment on the grounds that he had not rendered honorable and faithful service as an employee.
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The Complexities Inherent in Forum Choice and Human Rights Claims.
Epp, Erin; Plans & Trusts; v35 no6 pp 30-31 Nov-Dec 2017; journal article

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Abstract : The decision in Bassett v. Treasury Board (Correctional Service of Canada), a 2017 case arising out of the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board Act, demonstrates the importance of choosing the appropriate forum for a claim and illustrates some of the difficulties in utilizing human rights legislation for pension and benefit issues.
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Domestic Impact Investing.
Lankin, Thalia; White, Lesyllee; Benefits Magazine; v54 no10 pp 18-24 Oct 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Investing in domestic and local projects that rebuild infrastructure and create jobs and affordable housing may help Taft-Hartley and public pension plans improve returns while also serving the interests of their participants.
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Building a Strong Retirement Program: One for the AGES.
Keener, Eric; Goldman, Ted; Benefits Quarterly; v33 no3 pp 32-37 3rd Qtr 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The Forward Thinking Task Force of the American Academy of Actuaries developed the Retirement for the AGES framework to provide a straightforward and unbiased way to assess and compare different retirement security proposals. This article discusses factors impacting retirement security in the future, explains the Retirement for the AGES framework, and shows how AGES assessments have been applied to the traditional defined benefit system, safe harbor defined contribution plans, the South Dakota Retirement System, the New Brunswick Shared Risk Model, and the USA Retirement Funds proposal. The AGES assessments reveal how difficult it is to design an ideal retirement program that would balance many competing needs and objectives. They also show that it is possible to improve on the current system. As the United States begins to address its growing retirement challenges, this framework will be a useful and important tool to compare and assess various proposals.
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What's Working: Boosting Retirement Readiness.
Benefits Magazine; v54 no4 pp 10-11 Apr 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : In December 2016, when many are focused on giving gifts to others, a Michigan public retirement system reminded plan participants to give a gift to themselves: a secure retirement.
[0200520]

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Transit Authority' s Pension Plan Not Subject to ERISA.
Benefits Magazine; v53 no11 p 64 Nov 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirms a district court finding that the defendant transit management company's pension plan was a governmental plan and, therefore, exempt from protection under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
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Benefit Trends: Benefits a Big Part of Compensation.
Held, Justin; Benefits Magazine; v53 no7 pp 8-10 Jul 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Employee benefit offerings remain a critical component of the employment relationship, providing security for workers, while acting as a recruitment, retention and engagement tool for employers. Benefits comprise a significant percentage of total employee compensation--as much as 60 percent in some organizations, according to the International Foundation's fifth "Employee Benefits Survey."
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Illinois Law Reducing Chicago Employee Pensions Unconstitutional.
Benefits Quarterly; v32 no3 pp 55-56 3rd Qtr 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Under Illinois Constitution creating contractual right to public pension benefits, state law addressing significant underfunding of Chicago city employee pensions was held to be unconstitutional because it reduced benefit levels from what had been promised to city employees.
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Pension Forfeiture Can Constitute A Fine.
Benefits Quarterly; v32 no3 pp 53-54 3rd Qtr 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Supreme Judicial Court holds that police officer's pension forfeiture constitutes an excessive fine in violation of U.S. Constitution.
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What's Working: Improving Women's Retirement Security.
Vogel, Chris; Benefits Magazine; v53 no5 pp 11-13 May 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : A year ago, as a campaign to improve women's retirement security was kicking off with a live presentation in Wisconsin's capital, organizers felt like they were "throwing a party not knowing if anyone would show up."
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Benefit Trends: Communications a High Priority... But Often Not Read.
Mrkvicka, Neil; Benefits Magazine; v53 no4 pp 8-9 Apr 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Although plan members are asking more questions about their health care and retirement benefits, many still are not opening or reading communication materials, a recent International Foundation survey shows.
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Employee Benefits Survey: 2016 Results
Held, Justin; Mrkvicka, Neil; Stich, Julie; 70 pp 2016; survey

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Results of the fifth comprehensive benchmarking survey conducted by the International Foundation. Includes data on pension and retirement plans, health care benefits and other benefits, such as life insurance, work/life benefits and time off, for three distinct sectors in the U.S.—corporations (including professional service firms), public employers and multiemployer benefit plans. Responses were gathered from members of the Foundation and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists during 2016.
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Public Employee Retirement Plan Changes: Did Results Match Expectations?
Stich, Julie; Benefits Magazine; v52 no12 pp 20-27 Dec 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Many public retirement systems have begun to make changes in the face of liability and/or poor plan management. Michigan, Alaska, and West Virginia have taken unique approaches to their retirement systems. Traditionally, defined benefit (DB) pension plans have been paramount in public employee retirement security, but demographic and economic changes have created challenges for public employee retirement systems, creating the need for systemic change. These three states implemented mandatory or semi-mandatory defined contribution (DC) plans in an attempt to mitigate these challenges. Michigan and Alaska chose DC plans and while data on overall cost and employee retention is limited, these states have seen mixed results. Alternately, West Virginia had long been on a DC plan, but switched to a DB plan after data showed it to be slightly cheaper per retiree. For all three states, according to stakeholders, retirement security is the ultimate goal.
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What's Working: Retirement Education.
Vogel, Chris; Benefits Magazine; v52 no12 pp 11-12; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Many workers, especially educators and other public employees, do not begin thinking about their retirement until they reach their 40s. Getting people to think about retirement at an early age, even as children, has become a priority for the Wyoming Retirement System (WRS). Initially, the WRS focused exclusively on teachers, but found value in teaching these skills to their students. The result, as orchestrated by plan manager Polly Scott, was Sonja Meets Her Future Self, a book designed to help young children understand the importance of retirement planning. This, along with other programs and exercises, have people in Wyoming thinking more substantially about their retirement plans at an earlier age.
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Technology-Enhanced Benefits Education: What's Working.
Bergstrom, Kathy; Benefits Magazine; v52 no11 pp 11-13 Nov 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS) continues to add different interaction channels to serve its 430,000 participants. Responsible for coordinating interaction methods, the Information and Communication Center (ICC) added secure messaging as an option in 2014 to enable participants to safely convey personal information. Live calls are prioritized in a cue over email and secure messages to get fast response. Streamlined responses are aided by a customer relationship management system that maintains a participant's contact history and by customizable message templates. The ICC developed a mobile app and video conferencing service and plans to add web chat capability and expanded self-service options for participants and employers.
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Best Practices for Public Sector DC Plans.
Overly, Keith; Studebaker, Michael J.; Benefits Magazine; v52 no8 pp 42-47 Aug 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The Defined Contribution Best Practices Guide, published by the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, identifies six major areas that deserve attention and resources. For plan administration prime considerations are choosing a bundled or unbundled service approach and using consultants to supplement staff skills. Strong plan governance starts with a board or committee with specific responsibilities and accepting fiduciary responsibility. Plan design covers numerous aspects related to participant services, plan features and investments. Communication and participant education are geared to helping plan participants understand the plan, tax implications and effective saving for retirement. Plan sponsors also need continuing education on industry issues and regulatory developments. Changes in plan service providers are likely over time and require planning for a smooth transition.
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