Pension discussions are not as interesting as DPS election hurling. But I think they will have a far greater impact over the long term. In many ways, the merger of the DPS pension into PERA makes it less of a local issue and more of a State issue, kicking it up to the legislature. So even in this minute election season it may feel it is safe to ignore as a local issue. Do so at your peril.
Personally, I think the eventual and unavoidable pension brawl is going to make the strident debate over ProComp seem almost quaint. A recent piece in the Washington Post sounded similar alarms. But it was the conclusion of the article that caught my eye.
In Ohio, for instance, the teachers pension system reported that it would take 41 years for its investments to catch up with the costs of meeting its obligations to retirees. That was before the worst of the financial crisis.
During the last fiscal year, Ohio’s fund lost 31 percent. Its most recent annual report detailed how long it would now take for its investments to put the fund back on track. Officials simply said: “Infinity.”