Friday, April 17, 2009

Good Ideas Become Amendments

The House took up pension reform this week and GOP lawmakers were successful in getting several amendments adopted. One of the amendments came as a suggestion from Pepperell Town Treasurer Michael Hartnett.

Currently, law requires that all retirement systems in the Commonwealth be fully funded by 2028, which means that they have an unfunded liability of zero at that date. With the recent downturn in the economy and the steep fall in the value of many investment portfolios, the 2028 deadline may be difficult for many cities and towns to meet They will be forced to increase their allocation to their retirement funds at a time when many municipal budgets are strained. It was for this reason that the state system pushed its fully funded deadline from 2023 to 2025. Therefore, we felt it necessary to give municipalities the same leeway, and so this amendment pushes back the deadline to be fully funded from 2028 to 2030.

This is just one more effort to reduce the burden on already strained municipal budgets.