October 27-28, 2005
On October 27-28th 2006, the Project convened a meeting on “Public Sector Pension Plans: Current Challenges and Future Directions.” Participants, presenters, and speakers included scholars and researchers, public pension fund trustees and officials, members of the investment community, union leaders, experts on public knowledge about and attitudes in relation to the issues, and others.
Attendees sought to enhance their understanding of the challenges that public sector pension plans face, including finance and operation and broader issues such as pressures on state and local finance, shifting demographics and workforce needs, and concerns of public sector workers about security in retirement. They also sought insights into how public knowledge and attitudes on these issues shape and are shaped by contests over the future of public sector pension plans.
Conference topics included:
• Key characteristics of two leading public sector pension plans
• The extent to which current fiscal challenges faced by such plans are structural
• Methods of redesigning or reconfiguring these plans to better serve the interests of both state and local government and public sector workers,
• The nature, process, and outcomes of public debate over recent efforts to change plans in several different states
• And, the relevance of legal and policy issues and public knowledge and perceptions to these and other matters central to such debate.
Selected Conference Presentation Materials
Larry Beeferman, Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, Project Director, Pensions & Capital Stewardship Project,
"Opening Remarks" [PDF]
Fred Buenrostro, Chief Executive Officer, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, "Public Pensions: The CalPERS Experience" [PDF]
Ed Derman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, California State Teachers’ Retirement System,
"Public Sector Pension Plans: The CalSTRS Story" [PDF]
Norm Jones and Paul Zorn, Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company, "Questions About the Future of Public Pension Plans Short-term Problems or Structural Failures?" [PDF]
Ray Henry, Former Executive Director, Texas County and District Retirement System
Powerpoint Presentation: Public Plan Design for the Future [PFD]
Presentation Remarks: Public Plan Design for the Future [PDF]
Paper: Public Pension Plan Design for the Future: A Perspective [PDF]
Teresa Ghilarducci,Professor of Economics, Notre Dame University Public Plan Design for the Future [PDF]