The retirement system ranked 54th on a list of 148 state and local retirement funds nationwide with at least $2 billion in assets. The list, which includes pension systems in every state except Vermont, lists pension funds from fiscally weakest to strongest.
The state needs an independent analysis of these plans that will test not only the state’s ability to pay for our liabilities under different market and economic situations, but will ensure that the participants will get the promised benefits. And this test needs to be conducted on a regular basis.
Vermont’s pension debts are much bigger than politicians have admitted. The Democrat and Progressive establishment that runs Vermont has used fake accounting to downplay the vast extent of our state’s unfunded obligations.
The politicians who created this problem are slow to take up the task of fixing this because the numbers are huge. But who should take the hit: taxpayers or union members? Actually, morally speaking, neither.
The Ethan Allen Institute has been working with the Business Roundtable’s Pension Reform Task Force to better understand the problem of our state’s $4.5 billion pension liability and to explore some possible paths to a solution. The 31-page report resulting from this study came out in January.
Worse, if Congress bails out private union pension plans, how will it say no to teachers, police and firefighters who come to the federal government asking for a bailout of their state and local pensions that have an estimated $4 trillion to $6 trillion in unfunded pension promises?
In all seriousness, how do our representatives expect us to pay for all of this? There are only about 320,000 taxpayers in Vermont. This ever-growing burden on so few shoulders is crushing. It has to stop.
In the 12th episode of “Travels With Charlie – Vermont Politics in Real Life,” host Charlie Papillo discusses Vermont’s growing pension crisis with economist Art Woolf and David Coates, retired managing partner at KPMG.
The stock market rocket that took off with the election of Donald Trump in November 2016 has brought some much-needed relief to one of the state of Vermont’s most painful, persistent problems: its troubled public pension funds.
In the final part of our interview with David Coates, retired managing partner at KPMG and a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable, we look at why the state faces a declining workforce and ranks at the bottom for wages and benefits, and consider solutions to revive Vermont’s economy.
In the second part of our interview, David Coates (retired managing partner at KPMG who has years of experience with Vermont’s debt and fiscal woes) proposes corrective measures to address the state’s growing debt of unfunded liabilities.