Press Releases: Pensions

Research on public pensions and unfunded liabilities

In a new brief, Pioneer shows that whistleblowers’ 2015 claim that the MBTA Retirement Fund (MBTARF) had been underreporting its unfunded pension liabilities has proven to have been accurate. In their study, Boston University Professor Mark T. Williams and Bernie Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopo­los outlined three specific ways in which the T pension fund was underreporting...
More responsible assumptions about pension fund investment performance partially responsible for increase BOSTON - Despite several reform bills targeted at the Commonwealth’s public pension system in recent years, the unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) has continued to rise and is drawing closer to a crisis level, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “The...
Now anyone can become a local pension system expert...  A stitch in time saves nine. But how much will the hole unravel before the seamstress gets the call? We all know procrastination is a bad habit, but it's far worse if the procrastinators are stewards of the public trust. For far too long, policy makers...
Local retirement systems generate heavy costs, larger fiduciary risks BOSTON - Massachusetts’s 102 local pension systems typically report administrative costs that are much higher than those of the Massachusetts State Employees’ Retirement System (MSERS), according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. [av_button label='Download "The Bay State’s Public-Pension Complex: Costly and Unaccountable"' link='manually,https://pioneerinstitute.org/download/bay-states-public-pension-complex-costly-unaccountable/' link_target='_blank' size='large'...
Quarter-century of data shows costs at up to six times valuation assumptions, suggests MBTARF financial picture was made to appear artificially rosy BOSTON - Data from valuation reports and other financial documents suggest that suspect actuarial practices may have helped misstate the real costs of MBTA Retirement Fund (MBTARF) pensions, compounding to an estimated $200...
Local systems forfeited some $2.9 billion over 30 years by not investing with PRIM, probably billions more if fees and compounding are included Read coverage of this report in the Boston Herald, The Bond Buyer, and Associated Press. BOSTON - The commonwealth should set a five-year deadline for 102 public pension systems to transfer their assets...
MBTA would have saved $676 million, T pensions would have been fully funded BOSTON - Had MBTA Retirement Fund (MBTARF) assets been placed in the state pension fund at the end of 2000, their value would have been an estimated $902 million greater by 2014 and T pensions would have been about fully funded, according...
Listen to the WRKO radio clip of Mary Connaughton interviewed by Kim Carrigan; read a Boston magazine article. On Tuesday, Mary was on Boston Herald radio: A story in the Boston Herald today shows that MBTA workers are boosting their pensions with sick days - costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. The article cites...
Actuarial assumption adjustments clarify which funds are troubled and which are more stable BOSTON - Almost five years after the stock-market bottom, Massachusetts public pension systems’ investments had not yet fully recovered to pre-crisis levels while liabilities increased to new records, leaving systems unprepared for the next economic downturn. “There are very limited fiscal reserves...
Actuarial assumption adjustments clarify which funds are troubled and which are more stable BOSTON - Almost five years after the stock-market bottom, Massachusetts public pension systems’ investments had not yet fully recovered to pre-crisis levels while liabilities increased to new records, leaving systems unprepared for the next economic downturn. “There are very limited fiscal reserves...