Understanding Public Pensions: A Guide for Elected Officials


It is important for elected officials to understand how public pension plans operate and the role they can play in meeting the needs of employees, employers, and taxpayers alike. A new guide from SLGE and AARP provides key facts about public pension plans,¬†including the role of elected officials in making sure their state or local government’s pension plan/s are well designed and adequately funded so they can meet the goals of all stakeholders.

Elizabeth Kellar, with contributions from Bonnie Faulk, Joshua Franzel, and Amber Snowden, SLGE; Barrie Tabin Berger, AARP; and the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.
Publication date:
April 2017
Filed under:
Key findings:
  • Since 2009, all states have made modifications to their retirement plans to help ensure their long-term sustainability.
  • Every pension plan has a unique history, legal framework, and financial condition. As a result, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions from state to state or even from plan to plan to ensure that pension plans are properly financed and effectively managed to pay benefits for the long-term.
  • Not all changes to pension plans are solutions. Any modifications should be carefully considered to avoid unintended consequences or costs.
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