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Several popular and academic pieces of late have expressed concerns regarding the sustainability of public defined benefit pension funds. Since the onset of the Great Recession, concern has increased. In this paper recent arguments are analyzed in the context of three related data sets: panel data on public sector pensions spanning 2001-2009, historic asset return data, and business cycle data. Findings generally indicate that while public sector plans have suffered a difficult decade, current anxieties may be somewhat overwrought. Several remedial policies are investigated. Remedial policies, such as improving plan administration, altering portfolio allocations, and increasing both employee and employer contributions, are observed to be more promising than either freezing or closing the funds

Jason S. Seligman (The Ohio State University)

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

ISSN: 1096-3367

Article publication date: 1 March 2013

Abstract

Several popular and academic pieces of late have expressed concerns regarding the sustainability of public defined benefit pension funds. Since the onset of the Great Recession, concern has increased. In this paper recent arguments are analyzed in the context of three related data sets: panel data on public sector pensions spanning 2001-2009, historic asset return data, and business cycle data. Findings generally indicate that while public sector plans have suffered a difficult decade, current anxieties may be somewhat overwrought. Several remedial policies are investigated. Remedial policies, such as improving plan administration, altering portfolio allocations, and increasing both employee and employer contributions, are observed to be more promising than either freezing or closing the funds.

Citation

Seligman, J.S. (2013), "Several popular and academic pieces of late have expressed concerns regarding the sustainability of public defined benefit pension funds. Since the onset of the Great Recession, concern has increased. In this paper recent arguments are analyzed in the context of three related data sets: panel data on public sector pensions spanning 2001-2009, historic asset return data, and business cycle data. Findings generally indicate that while public sector plans have suffered a difficult decade, current anxieties may be somewhat overwrought. Several remedial policies are investigated. Remedial policies, such as improving plan administration, altering portfolio allocations, and increasing both employee and employer contributions, are observed to be more promising than either freezing or closing the funds", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 346-390. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-25-02-2013-B005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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