SERS Lowers Estimated ROI But Not Enough
By Leo Knepper
Last week the State Employee Retirement System (SERS) took a baby step toward reality and lowered their estimated return on investment (ROI). SERS moved their estimated ROI from 7.5 percent to 7.25 percent. The SERS change matches a move made by the other state-managed retirement fund, PSERS, last year. Adjusting the estimates added about $3 billion to Pennsylvania’s unfunded pension liabilities. These changes don’t go far enough, unfortunately.
A 2014 “Blue Ribbon” report from the Society of Actuaries stated that the rate of return for public sector pension funds would be closer to 6.4 percent for the next 10 years. Actuarial assumptions may sound dull and boring. However, the assumptions that the state-run pension plans make in valuing their assets have real world consequences for taxpayers and reflect a major problem with the defined benefit (DB) model.
Because the assumptions used to determine the value of the pension plan assets and liabilities are influenced by politics, it is easy for politicians to make generous promises and then make legal whatever flawed assumptions they want to use to improve the outlook. Furthermore, they can change the laws to purposely underfund pension contributions (something they’ve done twice in the last 15 years) to pass a “balanced” budget.
By assuming an unreasonable ROI, SERS and PSERS are hiding over $15 billion in additional unfunded liabilities from taxpayers and lawmakers. An accurate picture of how challenging the pension funding situation is is a necessary part of discussing how to solve the problem. Imagine having a broken leg but asking a doctor to fix the problem using an x-ray of your arm, and that is what the state pension funds are doing by being overly optimistic about their ROI.
American Bridge Trackers Following Scott Wagner
When I announced that I was running for Governor of Pennsylvania, I knew Tom Wolf and the left would throw every dirty trick in the book at me.
If I’ve demonstrated anything during my write-in campaign and subsequent three years in the PA State Senate, it’s that I have zero tolerance for thugs who think they can harass, intimidate, and bully me into backing down.
Since announcing my candidacy, state and national Democrats have been sending one to two trackers to every event I attend. They know I am the biggest threat to their Kingdom.
For those who do not know what a “tracker” is, it is an individual who is hired by the opposition to video a candidate’s every move with the intent to get them on camera saying something that can be taken out of context and then later used in a negative attack ad.
O, May 2, I was scheduled to speak at a private event on private property.
A Democrat tracker gained entry to the event under false pretenses.
The tracker then recorded the conversations at this private meeting without the consent of those in attendance. Consent is required by Pennsylvania law before a conversation can be recorded. As a public official I am used to being recorded, but no one else in that room had consented to having their discussions with me recorded by the tracker. To the contrary, they thought they were attending a private event.
When it became clear that the tracker would not stop recording and leave the event, I took the initiative to remove the camera until the police could arrive. I requested that the Country Club of York call the police and escort the tracker from the premises.
The tracker’s employer, American Bridge, is a leftist political organization that is a tool of the Obama and Clinton machines.
American Bridge is financed by a who’s who of liberal donors, including the Democrat Party’s sugar daddy, billionaire George Soros, who contributed one million dollars in March of 2016.
Click on the following link to view a list of some of their donors:
American Bridge’s mission is to disrupt conservative gatherings and intimidate Republicans – just like they attempted to do this past Tuesday. I’m not afraid of them, and I will not allow them to disrupt my events and intimidate my constituents and supporters.
American Bridge is welcome to send their trackers to my public events and record every word of my no-nonsense, conservative message. I hope they distribute it far and wide because it’s a message that is going to win the Governor’s office back for the people of Pennsylvania.
What they are not welcome to do – and what I will not allow them to do – is trespass on private property, gain entry under false pretenses, intimidate my constituents and supporters and record them without their consent.
My candidacy makes Governor Wolf’s campaign, state and national Democrats very nervous, because they believe I pose a critical threat to the future of their regime. On that point, they are right.
For too many years liberal politicians have been cheating the people out of their hard earned money, while allowing special interests to control our government. One of the reasons I’m running for Governor is to end that culture, and trust me, I will not back down.
It should be no secret to them that I am not going to be intimidated.
American Bridge Trackers Following Scott Wagner
William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-6-17
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Answer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: And all people live, not by reason of any care they have for themselves, but by the love for them that is in other people.