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Letters to the Editor

February 22, 2014

LETTER: Hands off those pension funds

STILLWATER, Okla. — Daisy Lawler

Comanche

To the editor:

Oklahoma politicians are taking a page out of Rhode Island’s playbook to “reform” the Oklahoma public pensions.

Rhode Island’s state treasurer’s reforms led to small returns on investments while tens of millions of fees were paid to Wall Street.

The state treasurer has control of all the pension funds. Is that where Oklahoma is headed?

Oklahoma Policy Institute said the pension crisis is over.

The reforms have worked for Oklahoma’s public pension systems.

Oklahoma Teacher Retirement system was honored a top public fund nationwide 16.3 percent return on investments of the $11.6 billion out-paces all other state funds and on track to be fully funded in 17 years if there is no change.

Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement is 87 percent funded.

Diverting funds from OPERS as in HB2630 and SB2120 will weaken the system.

Politicians will tell you that it only affects new hires.

You do the math. Public employees retire yearly, yet very little new money will be funding the system if these bills pass.

State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones said, “A small change in the return on investments and we could increase the unfunded liabilities.”

Forbes about defined the benefit system: “They beat the pants off the 401(K) plans when it comes to performance.”

 

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