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2/14/07 State Chamber PERS/TRS Presentation Prepared By: Michael E. Lamb, CPA, CGFM Chief Financial Officer Fairbanks North Star Borough P.O. Box 71267 Fairbanks, AK 99707-1267 (907) 459-1370 The Problem

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2 14 07 state chamber pers trs presentation

2/14/07 State ChamberPERS/TRS Presentation

Prepared By:

Michael E. Lamb, CPA, CGFM

Chief Financial Officer

Fairbanks North Star Borough

P.O. Box 71267

Fairbanks, AK 99707-1267

(907) 459-1370

the problem
The Problem
  • The basic problem Is: The PERS system has become under-funded. Bottom-line, there is an unpaid bill.
  • The question is: Whose unpaid bill, whose liability, is it anyway? Who should pay, and why?
  • Our purpose today: Understand the bill, then reach consensus!
  • BUT: Before we agree on what we should do, we need to understand what we are actually doing, now!
the employee universe

@ 6/30/05

18,262

88.2%

Tier I

2,303

11.1%

Tier II

138

0.7%

Tier III

$12.8B

$7.1B

$5.7B

20,703

100.0%

Retirees & Beneficiaries

The Employee Universe

73,299 Active & Retired Members

Active

Retired

@ 6/30/05

Active Members: 33,730

Vested Terminations: 6,105

Non-vested Terminations With Balances: 12,761

Total “Active Side”: 52,596

71.8%

28.2%

The actuary determines the cost of future benefits (the liability) for each employee in the PERS system. (Employee here means employees and elected officials.)

slide4

Mile High View Of PERS

Active Side

Retired Side (Liabilities Fully Funded)

Employee Accounts

Employer Accounts

All Retired EE Actuarial Liabilities Calculated

EE Liabilities Allocated To ERs Pro-Rata By Years

Total Of All ER Retired Liabilities = The RRA Liability

$4.2B

Unfunded Obligation – Drives PSC Rate

$1.5B

$7.1B

EE & ER Adjusted Asset Accounts

RRA Liability

$5.7B

$7.1B

ER Accrued Liabilities

RRA Assets

RRA Assets Get Increased To Equal Liabilities

RRA Assets Are Allocated To Employers Based Upon ER’s Pro-Rata Liability %

Active Employee Liabilities Allocated To Employers

Active Employee Actuarial Liabilities Calculated

RRA Assets

Benefits

slide5

Significant PERS Timeline Points

System Conversion, EE Transfers Not Reported To Actuary

Individual Employee Accounts Get Credited With Interest

State Absorbs The Retirement Reserve Account Loss/Shortage

Most Current PERS System Information Available

RetirementReserve Account Established/Used

Legislature Authorized A “Shared Consolidated Normal Cost” Rate

Defined Benefit Retirement Plan Becomes Effective

Legislature Authorized Allocation Of Investment Income To RRA

State Stopped ER Transfers To RRA At EE Retirement

Retirement Reserve Account Created/Authorized “Statutorily”

  • EE Contribution Account Transferred At Retirement (Within 1 Year)
  • Related ER Contributions Transferred At Retirement
  • Transferred Assets = RRA Liabilities

No EE Accts To RRA At Retirmnt

1984

1974

1977

7/1/94

6/30/05

1/1/61

6/30/69

7/1/99

12/31/72

12/31/71

  • EE Accounts Maintained
  • ER Accounts Maintained (Rate Swings A Problem!)
  • ER Accounts Paid Pension & Refund Costs
  • Contribution Rate Based on ER’s Actual Experience
  • EE Contribution Acct Transferred At Retirement
  • Related ER Contrbs NotTransferred At Retirement
  • Transferred Assets Now Don’t Equal Liabilities At Retirement
pers assets redistributions

RRA $6.3B, 73.3%

RRA $7.1B, 82.6%

EE Accts $1.4B, 16.3%

EE Accts $1.4B, 16.3%

ER Accts $0.9B, 10.5%

ER Accts $0.1B, 1.2%

$0.1

$0.9

$1.0

$1.4

$2.1

$1.4

$1.4

$4.0

$5.8

$1.3

$6.3

$7.1

PERS Assets/Redistributions

RRA $4.0B, 54.6%

RRA $5.8B, 71.0%

?

RRA $?B, ?%

EE Accts $1.3B, 17.6%

EE Accts $1.4B, 16.6%

ER Accts $2.1B, 27.8%

ER Accts $1.0B, 12.4%

?

Pre Moving The 6/30 $800M From ER To RRA

$8.6B @ 6/30/05 Post ER Transfer To RRA

$9.4B @ 6/30/06 Post ER Transfer To RRA

$7.4B @ 6/30/03 Post ER Transfer To RRA

$8.2B @ 6/30/04 Post ER Transfer To RRA

$8.6B @ 6/30/05 Pre ER Transfer To RRA

slide7

Cousin Bud Example:

Assignment of Retirement Liability

$120k/yr comp.

$100k/yr comp.

$40k/yr comp.

$50k/yr comp.

$20k/yr comp.

$90k/yr comp.

$1k/yr comp.

$1k/yr comp.

11/1/00

11/1/74

6/30/04

11/1/80

11/1/90

10 year City employee $30k/yr

6 years on School Board, $1k/yr

10 year UA employee $70k/yr

4 year State employee $110k/yr

slide8

Actual RRA assets “allocated” from other employers to employer 232

Employer 232’s RRA liability determination =‘s 232’s required assets

city of kenai example
City of Kenai Example

Calculation of Retiree Reserve Balances by employer

1. Actuary calculates liability for every member in the system.

2. Determines retired liability at end of year

7,130,177,977

A

3. Calculate the transfer needed from active bucket

Beginning Retiree Reserve assets

6,261,218,368

Net change in the reserve in total (expense+ income)

(67,162,412)

Assets in the reserve at YE prior to transfer

6,194,055,956

Difference is what needs to be transferred from Active Bucket

936,122,021

4. Allocate assets in Retiree Reserve

This is done by calculating the weighted average of each employer of the total liability

Ex: Kenai has YE liability of

29,202,591

B

weighted average % of total YE liability (A)

0.40956328%

B/A

Share of Assets

25,368,579

Amount to be transferred - diff in assets and liability

3,834,012

this has no relationship to the actual cash

Also equals weighted avg times amount to be transferred

3,834,012

flow of Kenai retirees

City of Kenai

FY 05

FY 04

So Kenai's active account is reduced by $3.8 million resulting in

1,356,347

3,898,539

assets available

Active Account liability

18,276,644

15,463,800

Unfunded Liability

16,920,297

11,565,261

Amortized over 25 years produces originally published rate

36.67%

29.81%

Retiree Reserve Liability

29,202,591

28,152,100

Note the jump in rate is impacted by the decline in assets in the active account.

Was it fair for Kenai to have to transfer $3.8 million? Who knows?

The retiree liability only increased by less than $1 million.

Is Kenai paying for liabilities incurred by other entities? Who knows?

the state had and has the primary role in the current circumstance
The State Had, And Has, The Primary Role In The Current Circumstance
  • The State established, amended, and has had sole administrative control of the Plan since 1961.
  • The State selected, contracted with, and has been the sole contact with PERS actuaries.
  • The State has had sole access to, oversight for, and responsibility for actuarial methods and assumptions.
  • The State managed PERS without accommodating elected official low compensation levels, versus benefits.
  • The State has had sole control over the investment of all PERS assets since 1961.
  • The State has set rates, has billed for, and has collected on all employer PERS contributions since 1961.
  • The State caused the shifting of employees from cities to boroughs as it formed mandatory boroughs in 1964.
  • The State has managed investment income since 1969.
  • The State established the RRA in 1971 and began paying retiree benefits with blended employer dollars.
  • The State absorbed the RRA shortfall balance in 1972.
  • The State established the “shared consolidated (blended) normal cost” rate in 1977.
  • The State started allocating income to the RRA in 1984.
  • The State stopped transferring, in 1994, employer contributions to the RRA as employees retired.
  • The State has controlled the timing of employee “appointment” to retirement and the subsequent employee account transfers to the RRA.
  • The State has reallocated employer’s & employees RRA contributed assets, based upon RRA liabilities.
  • The State has determined employer’s unfunded obligation, after reallocating employer’s assets.
  • The State has set employer’s past service cost rates, based upon reallocated asset results.
  • The State has since 7/1/99 paid refunds from employee accounts, yet booked payments as though they were coming from the RRA.
  • The State has since 7/1/99 sent direct employee indebtedness payments to the RRA.
  • The State has since 7/1/99 shown voluntary refunds coming from the RRA, though paid from EE accounts.

("The State" refers to the Legislature, the PERS Administrator, the PERS Board, the ASPIB and the ARMB collectively.)

The State needs to accept a larger portion of the unfunded obligation.

take away solution frame work
Take Away & Solution Frame Work

Main points a Shared Solution needs to consider:

  • Individual member employer liabilities have been affected by other employer’s actions.
  • Since the creation of the retirement reserve account, in 1971, a member’s assets have been blended and reallocated yearly to other member employers.
  • As a result of 1 and 2 above, the State cannot say what any member’s actual individual asset or liability balance is, and therefore, can’t say what their unfunded liability is either, which drives the PSC rate.
  • The normal rate paid since 1977, by State action, has been a “shared consolidated” rate.
  • PERS is a consolidated system due to its formulas and the blending of assets and liabilities.
  • Historical recreation of records going back to 1971 isn’t possible.
  • Advantaged, and/or, disadvantaged employers isn’t determinable.
  • Fiduciary duty and legal issues will rise without an equitable and timely resolution, a key component being a fair allocation of the unfunded obligation to the State.

Some components of a final Shared Solution:

  • Amending State statutes to reflect an actual consolidated PERS Plan.
  • Having one uniform consolidated normal cost rate that all member employers pay.
  • Having 85% of the unfunded obligation go on the State’s books and be accounted for and paid by the State as a separate stand alone obligation.
  • The other 15% of the unfunded obligation belongs to all PERS member employers.
  • To pay the 15% unfunded obligation, there should be a separate uniform consolidated past service cost rate that all member employers pay, that is a separate rate from the normal cost rate.
  • The TRS obligation should likewise be broken into an 85%/15% split with 85% being accounted for as a separate obligation on the State’s books. As with PERS, there should be two separate rates, a uniform normal cost rate and a uniform past service cost rate that amortizes the 15% unfunded obligation.
  • Methods to reduce the future carrying costs of the unfunded obligations should be sought and used.
why 85 15
WHY 85/15?
  • We can’t recreate historical records, or outcomes.
  • Accordingly: A clean legal solution wherein the State would send a properly and legally allocated bill to each participant isn’t achievable, nor probably even desirable given how our system works.
  • Therefore, if the debt cannot be legally allocated and billed, we need to devise a method of allocating the unfunded obligation in a manner that meets the standards of logic and rational thought, and, which somehow captures the practical realities of what participant employers reasonably could have expected. 
why 85 1513
WHY 85/15?
  • FNSB Example:
  • For 22 years (FY ’83 to FY ’05) FNSB had a 4.17% total average employer PERS rate.
  • An 85/15 rate for FY ’08 would be: 14.48 + 3.79 = 18.27%. This is a 438% increase of the 4.17%!
  • The FY ’08 ARMB approved rate for FNSB is 29.98%. This is a 719% increase of the 4.17%!
  • With a FY ’08 system wide average rate of 39.76%, FNSB would face a 953% increase!
  • With a FY ’09 projected PERS rate of 46.64%, FNSB would face a 1,118% increase!
  • Thus:
  • Even an 85/15 Shared Solution probably falls outside of what a participant employer (the FNSB here), could reasonably have expected as an adjustment to a two decade old average rate for system assumption and method changes.
  • More than a 438% increase clearly exceeds what a participant using logic and rational thought could have expected, and clearly does not meet any standard of predictability, stability, or affordability.
  • Therefore, as in this real example, an 85/15 allocation of the unfunded obligation presents a more than reasonable and fair settlement of the unfunded obligation wherein all employers are paying more, (i.e., a Shared Solution) but where they aren’t driven into a position of fiscal incapacity.Please understand, that right now, all employers are paying more than they reasonably expected.
why 85 1514
WHY 85/15?

If/Then:

One could argue that if a fiduciary cannot send an accurate bill (when as a fiduciary they had a duty to properly account for activities such that an accurate bill could be sent) and they didn’t and can’t, then no bill can be sent.

Accordingly:

With 100% authority comes an equivalent level of responsibility. The responsibility and duty the State had as a fiduciary for the System creates the reasonable conclusion that an 85/15 split is accommodative to the circumstances.

respectfully i ask the state chamber to formally support
Respectfully, I Ask The State Chamber To Formally Support:

A Shared Solution:

  • Amending State statutes to reflect an actual consolidated PERS Plan.
  • Having one uniform consolidated normal cost rate that all member employers pay.
  • Having 85% of the unfunded obligation go on the State’s books and be accounted for and paid by the State as a separate stand alone obligation.
  • The other 15% of the unfunded obligation belongs to all PERS member employers.
  • To pay the 15% unfunded obligation, there should be a separate uniform consolidated past service cost rate that all member employers pay, that is a separate rate from the normal cost rate.
  • The TRS obligation should likewise be broken into an 85%/15% split with 85% being accounted for as a separate obligation on the State’s books. As with PERS, there should be two separate rates, a uniform normal cost rate and a uniform past service cost rate that amortizes the 15% unfunded obligation.
  • Methods to reduce the future carrying costs of the unfunded obligations should be sought and used.