slide1 l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
PERS PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 32

PERS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

PERS 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 My Role 1) To communicate, at a global level, mechanically how PERS actually works.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'PERS' - johana

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript


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

my role
My Role

1)To communicate, at a global level, mechanically how PERS actually works.

2) To communicate how PERS formulas and methods have changed over time, and the consequence of those changes to your individual entity’s allocated unfunded balances, using examples.

3) Finally, assist in reaching consensus on AML’s position on PERS, and to formulate AML’s message of what specific actions it wants the administration and legislature to undertake.

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 unpaid bill
The “Unpaid Bill”

Basic Accounting Formula: A = L + (O/E or A/D)


Assets – Liabilities = Equity or (Accumulated Deficit)

@ 6/30/05:$8.6B - $12.8B=($4.2B)

PERS Valuation Report LanguageAdjusted Assets – Accrued Liability = Unfunded Liability

A – L = (A/D)


Mile High View Of PERS

A – L = (A/D)

Active Side

Retired Side (Liabilities Fully Funded)

EE Active Accts Filled By Compensation x EE Rate

ER Active Accts Filled By Total Compensation x ER Rate

All Retired EE Actuarial Liabilities Calculated

EE Liabilities Allocated To ERs Pro-Rata By Years

Total Of All ER Retired Liabilities = The RRA Liability


ER’s Active Asset - Liability= Unfunded Obligation



EE & ER Adjusted Asset Accounts

RRA Liability



ER Accrued Liabilities

ER RRA LiabilitiesLess Their Allocated Assets Equals Assets Moved From Each Active ER Account To RRASo That A = L

RRA Assets

RRA Assets Get Increased To Equal Liabilities

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

Active Employee Liabilities Allocated To Employers

Active Employee Actuarial Liabilities Calculated

RRA Assets


main points to develop convey today
Main Points To Develop & Convey Today

PERS, statutorily, is supposed to be a multiple employer, single agency system. It is not.The direct linkage of employer assets is broken every year. PERS, by design, and by actual methods and formulas used, is: a blended consolidated retirement system.

The State bears responsibility for a major portion of the unfunded obligation and should transfer said portion onto its books.

the employee universe




A – L =(A/D)

The Employee Universe

73,299 Active & Retired Members



@ 6/30/05

Active Members: 33,730

Vested Terminations: 6,105

Non-vested Terminations With Balances: 12,761

Total “Active Side”: 52,596



The actuary determines the cost of future benefits (the liability) for each employee (active and retired) in the PERS system.

(Employee here means employees and elected officials.)

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%

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

A – L =(A/D)


Significant PERS Timeline Points

A – L = (A/D)

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

RRA Allocated A Pro Rata Share Net Income

No EE Accts To RRA At Retirmnt











Investment Income To ER & EE Acts (1969) Only

  • 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 Not Transferred At Retirement
  • Transferred Assets Now Don’t Equal Liabilities At Retirement
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. It has credited investment income to employee accounts solely from the current employer’s active account, versus directly.
  • 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.


Cousin Bud Example



A = L

160 Employer Accts

52,596 EE Accts

Bud’s EE Acct


ER RRA LiabilitiesDictates The Assets Taken From Each Of The ERs

$120k/yr comp.

$100k/yr comp.

$40k/yr comp.

$50k/yr comp.

$20k/yr comp.

$90k/yr comp.

$1k/yr comp.

$1k/yr comp.













6 years on School Board, $1k/yr comp.

10 year City employee $30k/yr ave. comp.

10 year UAF employee $70k/yr ave. comp.

4 year State employee $110k/yr ave. comp.

A – L = (A/D)


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

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

A – L = (A/D)

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



3. Calculate the transfer needed from active bucket

Beginning Retiree Reserve assets


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


Assets in the reserve at YE prior to transfer


Difference is what needs to be transferred from Active Bucket


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



weighted average % of total YE liability (A)



Share of Assets


Amount to be transferred - diff in assets and liability


this has no relationship to the actual cash

Also equals weighted avg times amount to be transferred


flow of Kenai retirees

City of Kenai

FY 05

FY 04

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



assets available

Active Account liability



Unfunded Liability



Amortized over 25 years produces originally published rate



Retiree Reserve Liability



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?

consensus item 1 to be supported pers balances payments are formula driven have been blended
Consensus Item #1, To Be Supported:PERS Balances & Payments Are Formula Driven & Have Been Blended

Must Recognize:

  • PERS is an employee and elected official retirement system. The assets balances, and the liability balances, are driven by this fact.
  • PERS is a formula driven system. If any formula, at any point,blends either an individual employers liabilities, or assets, with another employer, then you must conclude that we don’t have a multiple employer, single agent PERS system.

Proposed Consensus Item For Your Consideration:

  • We have a consolidated cost sharing system that we need to get statutory language adopted that reflects such.
consensus item 2 to be supported
Consensus Item #2, To Be Supported:

Consequently, Given The Formulas:

  • Not one of the 160 member employers in PERS knows what their “actual experience driven unfunded obligation” is! Employers only know what their formula calculated unfunded obligation is. This calculation is the basis for the past service cost employer rate.
  • Therefore, no member employer knows what past service cost rate percentage they should, or shouldn’t, actually be paying.

Proposed Consensus Item For Your Consideration:

  • We need to have one uniform consolidated contribution rate across all employers, for both the normal rate and the unfunded past service cost rate.
consensus item 3 to be supported the state had and has the primary role in the current circumstance
Consensus Item #3, To Be Supported:The State Had, And Has, The Primary Role In The Current Circumstance

Acknowledgement Must Be Given To:

  • Entities fully paid the PERS bills they were sent by the State.
  • Many entities have tax caps which can not be adjusted for prior billing shortages.
  • The State is the only entity that has a constitutional requirement to share its financial resources with members of the State.
  • The State is the only entity that has the financial capacity to pay a larger portion of the unfunded obligation without jeopardy of insolvency.

Proposed Consensus Item For Your Consideration:

  • The State has the obligation, responsibility, and the financial capacity to accept responsibility for payment of 85%of the annual past service cost, resulting from an unfunded balance, whatever the number.
consensus item 4 to be supported this is an alaskan issue winners or losers can not be determined
Consensus Item #4, To Be Supported:This Is An Alaskan Issue, Winners Or Losers Can Not Be Determined!

Please Appreciate The Fact:

  • There are no good guys or bad guys. There is just a cumulative consequence of many formula decisions made over many years/decades that has blended employer assets, beyond reconstruction.
  • Energy and resources spent trying to determine blame is divisive (within the borders of Alaska). Historical recreation of any employer’s specific outcomes, from 1961 to present, cannot be historically and/or factually completed.
  • Accordingly, determination of specific employer winners, and/or losers, from any shared solution, cannot be determined. This fact must be given due consideration in framing any solution.
  • Who pays, how much, should be based on ability to pay.

Proposed Consensus Item For Your Consideration:

  • The other 15% of the current annual past service cost, from non-State member entities, should be based upon an individual entity’s total reportable compensation dollars, with a base minimum salary level set using reported 6/30/06 totals. [(39.76% - 14.48% = 25.28%) x (15%)] = 3.79% + 14.48% =18.27% total consolidated rate
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.
  • 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 1521
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 1522
WHY 85/15?


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.


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.

price of uncertainty and failure to reach agreement
Price Of Uncertainty And Failure To Reach Agreement

(To be filled in, or not preferably.)

the two rates

A – L = (A/D)

The Two Rates

FY ‘07/08

Past Service Cost Rate, System Wide (The piece of the rate that pays the active member’s unfunded obligation, i.e., that pays the liability over a period of time. The system wide rate is adjusted based upon each employers specific past service obligation.)

Shared Consolidated Normal Rate(The rate calculated to fully fund benefits expected to be earned byactive membersduring the fiscal year following the valuation date.)

Total Rate









Total Rate x Reportable Compensation = Employer’s PERS Payment(PERS Bill)

employee liability allocation

Employer 101

Employer 106

Employer 113

Employer 116

Employer 151

Employer 156

Employer 172

Employer 180

Employer 200

Employer 294




A – L = (A/D)

Employee Liability Allocation



Don, Actuary Calc: $500K NPV

116: (9/18) x 500k = 250k

172: (9/18) x 500k = 250k

Ross, Actuary Calc: $800K NPV

129: (3/24) x 800k = 100k

115: (3/24) x 800k = 100k

180: (16/24) x 800k = 533k

101: (2/24) x 800k = 67k

Bud, Actuary Calc: $900K NPV

156: (6/30) x 900k = 180k

172: (10/30) x 900k = 300k

113: (10/30) x 900k = 300k

101: (4/30) x 900k = 120k

2 years

3 years

Employer 101

4 years ($110k/yr)

Employer 106

10 years ($70k/yr)

3 years

Employer 115

Employer 116

9 years

Employer 129

6 years ($1k/yr)

16 years

9 years

Employer 156

10 years ($30k/yr)

Employer 172

Employer 180

Employer 200

Employer 294

Every year these %s are used to reallocate the RRA assets!

pers investment bucket
PERS Investment Bucket

A – L =(A/D)

  • Cash In:
  • Employee Contributions, to EE Individual Accts
  • 160 Employer Contributions (Compensation Paid x Employers Total Rate)
  • Investment Earnings(To be allocated at 6/30/06)
  • Cash Transfers:
  • Employee Individual AccountsTo RRA As “Appointed” To Retirement
  • Employer Active AccountsTo RRA

@ 7/1/05$8.6B

After 12 Months Of Ins & Outs

@ 6/30/06$9.4B

RRA $6.3B, 73.3%

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

EE Accts $1.4B, 16.3%

  • Cash Out:
  • Employee Pension Payments, From RRA
  • Retiree Healthcare Premiums, From RRA
  • OperatingCosts
  • AdministrationCosts
  • Refunds, From Active Employee Accts (EE)

ER Accts $0.9B, 10.5%

S/B $7.1B

on going year end bucket activity
On-going & Year-End Bucket Activity

A – L = (A/D)

Investment Income

(Operating & Admin)

Net Income

RR Account Balances @ Y/E

7/1/04 Beginning Balance

+ FY ’05 Indebtedness Payments, Not Through ER

(FY ’05 Pension Payments)

(FY ’05 Healthcare Premiums)

(FY ’05 Refunds @ termination - spreadsheet)

+ Transfers From ER Accounts (A = L)

= Pre-Net Investment Income Allocation Bal

+ Share of Net Income

= Ending 6/30/05 RR Account Balance

ER Account Balances @ Y/E

7/1/04 Beginning Balance

+ FY ‘05 ER Contributions (Comp x Rate)

(6/30/04 Valuation Transfers to RRA) (A = L)

(12/31/04 & 6/30 4.5% Investment Income To EE)

= Pre-Net Investment Income Allocation Bal

+ Share of Net Income

= Ending 6/30/05 ER Account Balance(s)

EE Account Balances @ Y/E

7/1/04 Beginning Balance

+ FY ‘05 EE Contributions

+ FY ’05 Indebtedness Payments From ER Withholding

+ FY ’05 4.5% Investment Income From ER Active

= Ending 6/30/05 EE Acct Balance(s)

(Should Be Coming Directly From Investments)

  • Done In System Records, But Not On Spreadsheet That Goes To The Actuary
  • Post 7/1/99 conversion, EE account balances for new retirees is transferred to the benefit side in the system, but this transfer is not reflected on the spreadsheet used by the actuary to determine ER active assets needed to fully fund the RRA. System shows, actuary doesn’t know. So, RRA balance is understated and EE balances are overstated. ER (on the RRA side) isn’t getting the one-time benefit of the EE asset transfers, so ER has less assets on the RRA side, and thus will have more transferred from active side. Also, the RRA gets less investment income because it has a smaller balance compared to ER active account balance totals.
  • EE’s voluntary refunds after termination of employment come from the EE accounts in the system, but the spreadsheet that goes to the actuary shows them coming from the RRA. This effectively reduces RRA balance and share of net income.
  • EE indebtedness payments not made through ER payroll deductions go to EE accounts in the system but the spreadsheet that goes to the actuary shows them going into the RRA, thus increasing the RRA’s balance which increases it share of net income.

11.1% Ave ER Rate

145.25% / 22yrs = 6.6% Ave EE Rate

91.88% / 22yrs = 4.17% Ave ER Rate