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Girard Miller  |  Finance Columnist

Email : millergirard@yahoo.com

Girard Miller is the returning finance columnist for Governing. He is a retired investment and public finance professional, and the author of Enlightened Public Finance (2019).  Miller brings 30 years of experience in public finance and investments as a former GASB board member, and ICMA Retirement Corp president. 

THE FUTURE OF Finance

How Congress Can Minimize “Viral” State and Local Layoffs

Federal fiscal assistance could avert budget-balancing cutbacks at the state and municipal level as the coronavirus devastates the economy. Here are some of the strategies and policies that are likely to be — or ought to be — considered.

April 9, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

How to Keep the Lights of Business On and Save the Tax Base

A short-term federal forgivable-loan program for property owners whose tenants can't pay their rent during the pandemic would protect badly needed state and local revenues.

April 6, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

Property Tax Collectors, Give Folks a Break!

Delaying fast-approaching property-tax deadlines would help Americans facing economic stress, and it wouldn't be that costly for local governments.

April 2, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

More Help Is Likely on the Way for States and Localities and the Coronavirus-caused Recession — Including an Obscure Source of Federal Aid for Muni Bonds

Plus, drafting a fourth stimulus bill before the $2 trillion package is sorted out, considering recession scenarios, state positioning as economy shudders, and credit ratings could be more vulnerable than budgets.

March 31, 2020
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Finance

Cash Balance Pension Plans

Crucial (and complicated) concepts in public money explained.

February 1, 2014
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Public Money

Farewell, My Readers

After five years as a Governing contributor, Girard Miller signs off.

June 21, 2012
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Public Money

Hybrid Treasury Bonds for Public Pension Funds

Federal-state collaboration could save taxpayers billions and help deter runaway inflation.

June 21, 2012
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Public Money

Pension Reforms Go to the Courts

What's next after California's recent landslide elections?

June 21, 2012
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Public Money

Public Pension Portfolios Double Down

A new study blames GASB policy for spurring state and local governments to make riskier investments.

June 14, 2012
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Public Money

COLA Freezes: Pension Reform's Third Rail

Here are 7 things to consider before cutting retirees' cost-of-living allowances.

June 7, 2012
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Public Money

"Say on Pay" for Public Pension Funds

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

May 17, 2012
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Public Money

Cash-Balance Pension Plans: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

Defined-benefit fans tout this hybrid, but taxpayers need protections.

May 3, 2012
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Public Money

On Pension Reform, Trying to Fit a Square Peg in a Round Hole

Politicians can't fix pension abuses with voting rules alone.

April 19, 2012
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Public Money

Stable-Value Funds: Their Time Under Heaven

A homework assignment for 457 investors and administrators

April 19, 2012
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Public Money

Insolvency, Bankruptcy and Doublespeak

Don't plead poverty while soft-selling your bonds.

April 12, 2012
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Public Money

Retirement Reform II: Beyond the Easy Stuff

Essential and practical steps to take in 2012

April 5, 2012
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Public Money

Sovereign Immunity for Public Employers

The Supreme Court has reaffirmed certain states' rights in the workplace.

April 5, 2012
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Public Money

'New Normal' Budgeting for 2013

Tax revenues are up, but deferred costs are waiting to be paid.

March 15, 2012
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Public Money

Pension Reform: Stop Billing the Grandkids

Intergenerational equity in retirement plans is long overdue.

March 8, 2012
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Public Money

OPEB Made Easier

A new set of best practices for 'other post-employment benefits'

February 23, 2012
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Public Money

Bad News for Workers Comp Premiums

Low investment returns hamper self-insurance pools.

February 23, 2012
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Public Money

Jerry Brown's Plan for Comprehensive Pension Reform

The California governor's far-reaching proposal requires hybrid plans, equal employee cost-sharing and a constitutional amendment.

February 9, 2012
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Public Money

Could a Flatter Federal Tax Plan Actually Work?

A centrist plan with a progressive twist could be a bipartisan compromise. And it could help balance the budget.

February 9, 2012
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Public Money

One Pension Half-Truth That's Actually a Quarter-Truth

A closer look at how "interest follows principal" in pension funds

January 19, 2012
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Public Money

Pension Puffery

Here are 12 half-truths that deserve to be debunked in 2012.

January 5, 2012
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Public Money

GASB's New Hornet's Nest: 'Economic Condition' Reporting

Should financial projections be "required supplementary information"?

December 15, 2011
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Public Money

Rhode Island's Landmark Pension Reforms

In this column by Public Money author Girard Miller, he writes about how newly enacted pension reforms will test contract law.

December 8, 2011
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Public Money

California Court Vests Retirees' Medical Benefits

The decision sends the Orange County case back to federal court.

December 8, 2011
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Public Money

Will Pension Plans Run Out of Money?

A new research report using GASB proposed metrics reveals risks of "depletion."

December 8, 2011
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Public Money

Slaying the OPEB Dragon

Retiree medical costs can be tamed, but it requires effort. Some solutions are obvious, others are at the cutting edge of innovation.

November 30, 2011
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Public Money

Pension Prop 13

California’s pension hawks file a detailed, alternative plan to the governor's that builds on his proposals.

November 10, 2011
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Public Money

Benefits Bonds Revisited

Does it make sense to leverage pension and OPEB funds now?

November 10, 2011
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Public Money

California Throws Down the Gauntlet for Pension Reform

The scope of the governor's new plan surprises allies and critics.

November 3, 2011
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Public Money

The Coming GAAP Gap for Pensions

How closely will plan trustees follow GASB rules when they bill employers?

November 3, 2011
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Public Money

The Cost of Doing Nothing for OPEB

Actuaries should use lower, achievable interest rates when there is not a qualified trust fund.

November 3, 2011
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Public Money

Coming Soon: Truth in Pension Investment Projections

GASB disclosure rules could inject truth serum into pension projections.

October 20, 2011
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Public Money

Wake Up That Sleepy Money

Put your idle cash to work and eliminate unnecessary fees from your portfolio.

October 13, 2011
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Public Money

Health-Care Costs Surge

Insurance premiums jump 9 percent for family coverage.

October 6, 2011
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Public Money

National 'Save for Retirement' Week Starts October 16

Here are some valuable messages that employers can share with employees.

October 6, 2011
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Public Money

New Pension Accounting Rules Roll Out

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board released new rules that are expected to become final next year.

September 30, 2011
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Public Money

Investing During a Downturn: A History Lesson

What the research reveals on stocks, bonds and inflation.

September 22, 2011
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Public Money

Socialized Pension Losses for Everybody?

A new "Secure Choice" proposal is half-baked but could be salvaged.

September 22, 2011
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Public Money

Why and How to Restore the United States' AAA Rating

Inaction could wipe out all domestic programs in just 10 years.

September 8, 2011
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Public Money

Making Money in a Zero-Yield Market

Find the silver lining in 2011's low-rate world.

September 8, 2011
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Public Money

Bonds Trump Pensions in Rhode Island

A new law puts investors first -- to save the system.

August 11, 2011
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Public Money

Bring Back Volcker

President Obama needs a strong CFO, now.

August 11, 2011
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Public Money

Navigating the New Normal Economy

Even without a double-dip recession, it's a lost decade for state and local governments and their employees.

August 11, 2011
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Public Money

Deep Freeze for Salaries

Thanks to the pension crisis, the public-sector should prepare for a 'lost decade' of compensation correction.

August 8, 2011
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Public Money

Get Ready for GASB

Pension accounting changes should prod advance planning.

August 8, 2011
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Public Money

Sharing More Pension Data with Investors

Public employers will think twice about future benefit increases if laws require more disclosure.

July 29, 2011
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Public Money

Do Unions Really Spur More Pension Benefits?

A new study challenges common beliefs about public pensions and collective bargaining.

July 21, 2011
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Public Money

GASB Files for Divorce

Accounting standards are splitting away from pension funding policies.

July 14, 2011
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Public Money

Pension Reform: Hits and Misses

Big changes are under way in some locales, but some unions are holding out.

July 7, 2011
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Public Money

Use It or Lose It

How to clean up "accrued leave" without hosing taxpayers

June 23, 2011
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Public Money

Bond Lawyers Discuss Stronger Pension Disclosures

A National Association of Bond Lawyers discussion draft suggests 10-year projections.

June 23, 2011
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Public Money

Red-Light Losers

One city pulls the plug on intersection cameras after they fail to produce revenue.

June 16, 2011
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Public Money

Clarifying the View of Retirement Debt

An insightful report from Barclay's Capital sheds new light on pension obligations.

June 16, 2011
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Public Money

Pep Talk for Pension Reform

Viable, sensible, lasting solutions will require more efforts.

June 9, 2011
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Public Money

Taxing Municipal Bonds

A controversial plan to tax state and local debt could rob states and localities of millions.

May 31, 2011
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Public Money

Summing Up Public-Sector Pay

Study sheds new light on costs of public pensions.

May 19, 2011
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Public Money

Rethinking Disability Pensions

Federal tax incentives invite abuses.

May 19, 2011
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Public Money

Prepare to Fight for Itemized Deductions

State and local taxes deserve higher priority than mortgage interest.

May 12, 2011
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Public Money

No Guarantee for Retiree Medical Benefits

San Diego court finds OPEB promises are "not vested."

May 5, 2011
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Public Money

Muzzling Money Managers

Should trustees engage in blackball tactics?

May 5, 2011
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Public Money

Rx: Pay Less and Get Less

Narrow-network HMOs are the new cost-cutting tool.

April 21, 2011
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Public Money

Medicare Reform's OPEB Side Effects

Public employers need preemptive cost-control strategies.

April 14, 2011
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Public Money

Mandating Taxable Muni Bonds

Congress should not make all municipal debt taxable -- just provide the option.

April 14, 2011
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Public Money

Venture Forth, Ye Pension Funds!

Contrarian strategies should pay off.

April 7, 2011
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Public Money

Weighing Public Pay Scales

Let's put "total compensation" to the test — and into the law — to debunk the myths on both sides.

April 7, 2011
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Public Money

The Power of No

This is the time for state and local leaders to take a 'no new spending' pledge.

March 31, 2011
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Public Money

Pension Reformers Shift Focus to Current Employees

New tiers for new hires don't move the dial enough on trillion-dollar deficits.

March 17, 2011
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Public Money

The 'Pension Ponzi' Rap

Many still use Ponzi-like accounting, but pension funds are not Ponzi schemes.

March 17, 2011
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Public Money

Union Rights and Pension Laws

State-level ceilings make the most sense.

March 3, 2011
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Public Money

Poor Pension Math

Despite public pension lobbyists' claims to the contrary, here's the true cost of pension plans to taxpayers.

February 17, 2011
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Public Money

The Power of No

This is the time for leaders to take a bipartisan 'no new spending' pledge.

February 10, 2011
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Public Money

Misplaced Pension Hysteria

The real monster is OPEB, not pensions

February 3, 2011
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Public Money

Curing a Health Care Cost Curve

With health care driving state spending, a focus on quality care could cut costs.

February 1, 2011
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Public Money

Pink Slips and Pension Red Ink

In California, it's "pension layoffs" vs. "pension attrition."

January 20, 2011
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Public Money

Are Build America Bonds Up for Grabs?

Let's fix the formula so everybody wins!

January 13, 2011
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Public Money

Re-Thinking Retirement 'Rights' for Public Employees

Vesting should not apply to future service.

January 6, 2011
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Public Money

Will 2011 Investment Markets Bail Out the Pension Funds?

Wall Street can't relieve budget-strapped public employers.

January 6, 2011
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Public Money

Labor-Relations Strategies to Cut Benefits Costs

Public managers need a game plan for 2011.

December 16, 2010
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Public Money

Cutting Health Insurance Costs

The president's new initiative on quality health care deserves support. So does tort reform.

December 16, 2010
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Public Money

For Pension Funds, a Smarter Application of the 'Risk-Free Discount Rate'

Financial economics should apply to labor relations, not accounting.

December 2, 2010
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Public Money

Post-Election Retirement Plan Reform

It's not so simple as switching to a 401(k).

December 2, 2010
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Public Money

69 Is The New 65

The President's commission faces up to longevity. When will pension funds?

November 17, 2010
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Public Money

Middle Ground for Social Security and Medicare Reform

Three meaningful reform ideas worth sending to the lame ducks in Congress.

November 10, 2010
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Public Money

How to Run a Pension Fund -- Without Running It Into the Ground

Government finance officers tell it like it is. Will politicians finally listen?

November 4, 2010
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Public Money

Bending the Medical-Cost Curve

Health-care reformers say it can be done. Girard Miller doubts it.

October 21, 2010
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Public Money

Social Security and Medicare Costs Runaway

An actuarial autopilot is necessary if Congress won't bite the bullet to control costs.

October 14, 2010
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Public Money

A Fresh Look at Dysfunctional Pension Formulas

A team of researchers is rethinking the basis for calculating pensions.

October 7, 2010
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Public Money

Who Should Pay the Pension Bill?

As states face funding problems, retirees and employees will feel pressure to chip in.

October 1, 2010
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Public Money

Public Pensions Investing for Less

Many pension funds will cut their investment-return assumptions.

Public Money

A Ginnie Mae "in Every Pot"

The White House's mortgage relief strategy to enable underwater homeowners to modify their current mortgages on more-favorable terms is too timid.

September 22, 2010
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Public Money

"Personal-izing" Social Security

Private accounts can work, but they're not for everyone.

September 15, 2010
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Public Money

Hybrid Vigor for Pension Evolution

A good option for new public employees is a "half & half" defined-benefit and defined-contribution plan.

Public Money

Finding Safe Harbor from Pension Fraud

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board's pension disclosures could help CFOs sleep at night.

Public Money

Last Call for the Retirement Medical Benefits Gravy Train

Federal reimbursement for high-cost early retirees will begin soon.

Public Money

The FICA Free-Lunch Crowd

Social Security reformers need a fair plan for the six million free-riders.

Public Money

The Evils of Evergreen Contracts

The "miracle of compound interest" helped put Bell, Calif., in the doghouse.

Public Money

Going to Bat for a VAT

Shifting the sales tax approach could solve Social Security and Medicare funding.

Public Money

California's Latest Pay Plunder

Outrage over lavish salaries and pensions in Bell, California, could fire up reform in public compensation laws and practices.

Public Money

Beware of Negative Growth

With yields low and fees high, "safe" funds used in deferred compensation plans may eat away at principal.

Public Money

Pension Politics

Symbols and substance will clash in 2010 and beyond.

Public Money

Going to Bat for a VAT

Tax solutions for Social Security and Medicare could also heal the states.

Public Money

Bonds as Good as Gold

Federal credit guarantees for taxable state bonds would lift the economy.

Public Money

The Arbitration Game

In the New Normal economy, the rules of labor arbitration must change.

Public Money

Benefits, Bankruptcy and Baloney

Chapter 9 doesn't work the same as Chapters "7-Eleven" and won't solve the pension-benefit crisis.

Public Money

Curbing Pension 'Pay to Play'

Under new SEC rules, placement agents won't be outlawed, but they will be regulated.

Public Money

California's Down Payment on Pension Reform

Four workers unions wake up and smell the coffee.

Public Money

Will the BOBs Window Reopen?

Several large employers might get a second chance at benefit obligation bonds.

June 17, 2010
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Public Money

Fixing Social Security and Medicare

States and localities have a stake in the new bipartisan commission on fiscal responsibility.

Public Money

The Other Pension Fix

Absent reforms for incumbents, a five-year salary freeze may be the best solution for skyrocketing pension costs.

Public Money

Funding Retirement Medical Benefits on $75 a Month

A multi-pronged approach can slash retiree medical costs.

Public Money

Wanted: A Gold Standard for Pensions

Public officials who run pension plans should update their rule books.

June 1, 2010
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Public Money

Needed: New Rules for Pension Boards

When it comes to governance, there's something amiss in California and other states as well.

Public Money

New Proposals for Pension Books

GASB's potential accounting rules may clobber employers' budgets

Public Money

Uncle, Can You Spare a Dime?

"Tough love" assistance from the feds might match the nation's mood.

May 13, 2010
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Public Money

Out of Balance, or Out of Proportion?

A new look at whether public employees are overpaid.

Public Money

California's Pension Predicament

Fixing the state's retirement finances is like untangling a Gordian knot.

Public Money

A Facelift for Muni Bonds

Surprise! Your bond ratings just went up!

Public Money

Setting a Gold Standard for Pensions

The Government Finance Officers Association has issued a list of best practices for public pensions. These measures should be adopted nationwide.

Public Money

The Pension Tide Turns

Illinois and New Jersey legislators try a new tack on reform.

Public Money

New Pension Math

Nationwide, public officials scramble to change new-hire benefits formulas.

Public Money

Two New Looks at Investment Assumptions

Reviews of the way public pensions measure their ROI and account for liabilities could have a major impact on state and local budgets.

Public Money

Build America Bonds Need a Push

As Congress debates extending BABs, it's time to weigh in with letters and phone calls.

Public Money

Crosswinds for Pension Reform

California's pension-limitation ballot initiative hits a wall with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and prominent gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

Public Money

'Life-swapping': The Case For and Against Longevity Swaps

Could U.S. pension plans reduce risk by importing an idea from Europe?

Public Money

'Build America Bonds' Forever, or Nevermore?

The Obama administration supports extending them. But if Congress fails to act, we may see a blizzard of BABs this December.

Public Money

Seeking Security for Retirement Funds

Pension-exchanges for IRAs and 401(k)s would strengthen President Obama's initiatives.

Public Money

Furlough Fever

Are four-day workweeks the beginning of a permanent trend or a passing phenomenon?

February 1, 2010
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Public Money

Federal Incentives for Retirement Benefits Reform?

The case for a taxable 'benefits bonds' rebate

Public Money

California's $125 Million Middlemen

More evidence of influence-peddling in the Golden State's pension fund

Public Money

Could 'Build America Bonds' Be Extended After 2010?

The new subsidized taxable bond option has been highly successful.

Public Money

2010 Pension Investment Outlook

For the coming year, here are some strategies - both 'inside the box' and 'outside the box.'

Public Money

2010 Retirement Reform Resolutions

Time for less finger-pointing and more action

Public Money

Looking Twice at Pension Double-Dipping

Should full pensions be allowed if you keep working?

Public Money

New Retiree Benefits Scam: "Insurance Arbitrage"

Squirrelly insurance deals are too good to be true.

Public Money

Mini-Medicare Proposal Could Solve Municipal Retiree Benefits Problems

Police, fire and teachers could use Medicare at 55, cutting localities' costs.

Public Money

Employer-Paid Humbug!

Public employers can no longer afford to pay employees' share of pension costs.

Public Money

The New Normal Economic Environment

Even in a post-recession economy, leaders must learn to say no.

Public Money

Who Needs Placement Agents, Anyway?

There really is no place in the pension boardroom for mercenaries.

Public Money

California's Dirty Little Withholding Secret

How the Golden State "borrows" money from taxpayers -- interest free.

Public Money

Can the Bond Insurers Survive?

The "B" word shows up in earnings and news reports.

Public Money

California Pensions' $65 Million Middleman

In the wake of a scandal, a ballot initiative to reform the state's pension system gains new fuel.

Public Money

In Search of a Fair Pension Formula

Realistic income-replacement ratios in the 'new normal' economy

Public Money

Is Health Care Reform a Medicaid Torpedo?

States could get clobbered with new costs.

Public Money

Generational Battle Brews Over Gilded Baby-Boom Pensions

Resentment is building among younger workers, and Boomer unionists face a backlash.

Public Money

For Cash Managers, New Investment Risks

Inflation, rising interest rates and company defaults are among the perils.

Public Money

Retirement Benefits and the Incumbent Employee Conundrum

Bill baby boomers for their retirement costs -- before they get away.

Public Money

Putting a Price on Portfolio Safety

Is your attitude toward risk penny-wise and pound foolish?

Public Money

As Faith in the Almighty Dollar Erodes, There's Hope in TIPS

Inflation-indexed bonds are good for retirement plans as well as the U.S. dollar.

Public Money

'Mini Medicare' Reform Could Cut Retirement Health Benefit Costs

Could Medicare reform play a role in health care cost reduction in a way that actually benefits governments?

Public Money

States Can Lead in Health Care Cost-Cutting

Co-ops could change the economics of the industry.

Public Money

Reflections on the S&P at 1000

It's time to revisit and rebalance investment allocations.

Public Money

A Game-Changer for Government Retirement Markets?

The next-gen target-date funds for 457 plans have lower fees and consistent returns.

Public Money

More on SEC's Pension 'Pay to Play' Reforms

Regulate, don't prohibit, qualified organizations.

Public Money

Obamacare and the States' Benefits Budgets

Congress can't repeal the laws of supply and demand.

Public Money

Will SEC Ban Pension 'Pay to Play'?

Rules should also govern 457 and 403b plans.

Public Money

Saving the Nest Egg

It's time to restore balance to the funding of pension plans.

Public Money

Funding Phobias

States and cities have a lot of reasons for inaction on funding retiree medical benefits. Some of their excuses are pretty flimsy.

Public Money

The Empire State's Looming Public Pension Explosion

Local pension costs may triple in New York State, meaning costs will outrun revenues, even when the recession ends.

Public Money

Why No Pension Bonds?

How Build America Bonds have crowded out 'Benefits Bonds.'

Public Money

New Premises for "Pension Prop 13"

Constitutional curbs for runaway public pension plans

Public Money

Bargaining for Benefits Reform

It's time to take a harder line on under-priced "bennies." Here's how.

Public Money

Failing to Fund Retirement Benefits

The downside of "pay-as-you-go"

Public Money

The Value-Added Tax: State and Local Implications

A threat or an opportunity?

Public Money

A Fiscal Fix? California's Dreamin'

Is the Golden State too big to fail?

Public Money

Time to Drop DROPs

Alice-in-Wonderland math can't work for Deferred Option Retirement Plans.

Public Money

Passing on Our Debts

GASB is looking at new rules for making sure we pay for services we use.

Public Money

Medicare Trumps the 'OPEB Fairy'

National health care reform can't bail out state and local retiree health plans.

Public Money

Build America Bonds Hit the Market

Are these new municipal bonds silver linings -- or fools' gold?

Public Money

The Pension Bonus Conundrum

You get what you pay for -- or don't.

Public Money

The OPEB Acid-test

Paralysis must yield to analysis -- soon.

Public Money

Top 12 Pension and Benefits Plan Issues for 2009: Executive Summary

New paradigms for a new year

Public Money

Outlook for Retirement Plan Investments

The retirement industry took a beating last year. But 2009 still provides some opportunities for the public sector.

Public Money

Top 12 Pension and Benefits Plan Issues for 2009: Part I

New paradigms for a new year

Public Money

Bonding for Benefits: POBs and 'OPEB-OBs'

New strategies to shatter the old POB paradigm

Public Money

Don't Squander the Stimulus!

How to prevent pork-barrel spending and bridges to nowhere

Public Money

Investing Public Cash in a 0% Market

Searching for incremental yields?

Public Money

Pension Funds to the Rescue?

Could public pensions help solve the banking and mortgage crises?

Public Money

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges!

State and local governments shouldn't wait for the White House and Congress to come up with the next stimulus package. They should draft a specific new proposal of their own.

Public Money

The Taxable Muni Bond Debate

Is an "Infrastructure TBO" worth a try?

Public Money

A Dumb Idea: Tax-Exempt OPEB Bonds

They're a bad solution in search of a problem, and they won't stimulate anything.

Public Money

Model Legislation: Retirement Plan Financial Management

Stronger laws would optimize OPEB plans and benefits bonds.

Public Money

Stimulus II: Guaranteeing Muni Bonds

Let's triple the infrastructure stimulus -- and put municipalities back to work.

Public Money

Swapping the Stimulus

Will local substitutions boost the spend -- or drain it?

Public Money

Top 12 Pension and Benefits Plan Issues for 2009: Part II

Six more new paradigms for a new year

Public Money

Sharing the Pension Pain

It's time for employees to buck up.

Public Money

Fixing OPEB Plans

Moving to a different format may be the answer.

Public Money

Getting Ready for Build America Bonds

There's a new tool for financial officials and managers to master.

Public Money

Profiting from TRANs

How to make the most of short-term borrowing

Public Money

OPEB's Silver Lining

Unlike with pension fund investments, nothing ventured means nothing lost.

Public Money

Seeking a Fix for 'Spiking'

Abuses of overtime in pension calculations

Public Money

Stimulus Strings

Pay cuts for public officials who spend like grasshoppers?

Public Money

Taking on the Sacred Cows

Michael Bloomberg's refreshing and realistic look at retirement math

Public Money

Repairing Pension Plans

Reform -- don't destroy -- public retirement systems.

Public Money

A New Way to Save an Apple a Day

A better voluntary savings vehicle for retiree health coverage

Public Money

Public Pensions and Private Partners

A profitable role in curing the toxic asset problem?

Public Money

The Insurance Exposure Problem

State and municipal deferred-compensation plans are at risk from the insurance-industry tumult. It's time for some due diligence.

Public Money

Guarantees for Muni Bonds

Timely congressional action could double the infrastructure stimulus.

Public Money

To Build a Solid Benefit

How to ensure that retiree health coverage is ample, available and affordable.

Politics & Elections

Girard Miller's Benefit Beat: Bonding with OPEB

Some municipal bond underwriters are peddling the idea that public agencies should sell bonds now to "pre-fund" their promised retiree medical-benefit-plan liabilities.

April 1, 2007
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Management & Labor

Guest Quarter: Retirees and Realities

New Jersey's ill-fated pension reform plan is history. As 2006 drew to a close, the governor and legislature, hoping to pay for property-tax reduction through pension plan reforms, failed to come to an agreement--much to the relief of thousands of state workers, unionized and otherwise, who marched on Trenton to make known their concerns about benefit adjustments.

February 1, 2007
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Management & Labor

Girard Miller's Benefit Beat

It happens like clockwork. As soon as a magnanimous stock market boosts pension assets to high-water marks, pension raiders lurk around--they can't wait to get their hands on the "overfunded" portfolio.

June 1, 2010
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Management & Labor

Wellness--Or Else!

The latest buzzword in managing health care costs is "wellness"-- programs that emphasize prevention and personal accountability.

October 1, 2007
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Management & Labor

Pension Divestment Politics

State politicians have returned to the slippery slopes of social investing and pension divestment. In the 1980s, South Africa was the target. Last year, it was Sudan, followed quickly by Iran, and now "all terrorist nations" are on blacklists in some states.

August 1, 2007
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