Entries by Josh Beck

Underfunding OPEB – A Losing Strategy

In addition to pensions, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its municipalities also provide their retirees with other post-employment benefits (OPEB), mostly in the form of retiree healthcare and life insurance. While these benefits have existed for many decades, the programs have not been sufficiently funded. As of June 2016, the best estimate is that the […]

How Do Alternative Investments Stack up in State Pensions?

There are numerous expert opinion on the proper investment strategy for public pension funds. In 2012, the Pioneer Institute’s Ilya Atanasov cited concerns about risk and subpar returns in recommending that public pension funds divest from certain complex alternative including private equity and hedge funds. Instead, Atanasov suggested funds invest in safer, more stable assets […]

The Internet Sales Tax: Gone But Will It Be Back?

On June 30th, two days before it was scheduled to go into effect, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) pulled a directive that would tax online retailers without a physical presence in the state. Under the directive, any company that has over 100 transactions and at least $500,000 in sales in the state in the […]

How You Can Audit Massachusetts’ Pension Boards

Just recently Kathy Curran led an investigation into Massachusetts retirement boards’ wasteful use of public funds. Her investigative team found that while nearly all public retirement boards in Massachusetts are not on track to be fully funded for at least another decade, numerous boards have been treating themselves to expensive dinners, five-star hotel visits, and other […]