Posted by ARSEA
MAJOR NEWSPAPERS RUN OPINION PIECE QUESTIONING RSA’S INVESTMENTS
Major daily newspapers across the state ran an opinion piece on Sunday that questioned the return on investment of the Retirement Systems of Alabama and the cost of providing retirement benefits to both active and retired public employees enrolled in the state plan.
The column, submitted by the policy director of the Alabama Policy Institute, a Birmingham-based conservative think tank, and a Troy University economics professor, suggested that state officials should consider moving toward a defined contribution plan or a hybrid system for public employees.
The opinion piece may be read in its entirety by clicking here.
The column made reference to a recently released economic study commissioned by the RSA and conducted by Dr. Keivan Deravi, a noted economist at Auburn University Montgomery. The report credited RSA investments within Alabama with creating jobs across the state and helping buoy our economy. Over the past two decades, the study noted, RSA in-state investments have helped add $28 billion to the Alabama economy while creating almost 283,000 jobs and generating more than $1 billion in tax revenues, according to the report.
The authors of the widely published opinion piece allege that the RSA-commissioned study paints a rosy picture on lackluster and disappointing investment returns. “Investing in equities and bonds rather than projects to increase state tax revenue would have resulted in income to reduce the unfunded liability Alabama's citizens are required to offset,” the opinion piece read.
Because public retirees are living longer, coupled with what they termed “poor investment performance” and the limited retirement options provided to private sector employees, the authors of the column said state and local officials should move away from a system that offers guaranteed pension benefits to its employees.
It is quite possible that the publication of the column is the first volley in an effort to turn public opinion against state, county and municipal employees and retirees and the benefits you earn. With other states continuing to impose changes and reductions in the retirement benefits offered to those currently employed and retired, it would not be surprising that some are actively working to bring that movement to Alabama.
That is why membership in ARSEA/APEAL is so important. By standing together, we can successfully repel these frontal assaults on our retirement benefits just as we have for more than three decades.
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