Yesterday Eileen Norcross participated in a panel discussion that was co-hosted by the American Enterprise Institute and the Mercatus Center. The event included two panels, one discussing the case for pension reform, and the second discussing the politics of reform for conservatives.
Eileen participated on the first panel, joined by Scott Beaulier of Troy University and Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation. They covered several points of the importance of pension reform, including the necessity for fund managers to use the correct discount rate when determining the pension liability, the importance of upholding fiduciary responsibility to workers and retirees, and the reality that public employee pensions are overly generous compared to private sector compensation.
Drawing on their previous research in pension reform, the panelists made a convincing case for the need for a shift away from defined benefit public pensions. Unfortunately, none were particularly optimistic that drastic reform measures will be undertaken. Scott pointed to Utah as a model states relative to others for responsible pension fund management but said that even their reforms do not go nearly far enough.