Monday, June 25, 2012

Will Walker 'Fix' Wisconsin's Not-Broke or Broken Pension Fund?

Given the uproar Scott Walker created with his dropped bomb known as Act 10, it has been assumed for months that the study he ordered to improve the Wisconsin Retirement System was another plan to somehow strip Wisconsin state employees of their pension rights, benefits or retirement financial assumptions.

Or perhaps recommend that employees or retirees be allowed to find a private sector broker or adviser or manager to facilitate some added 401-K options and whip up some fees.

Who knows - - except to always keep up your guard when Walker and his people are doing some planning.

Now comes a national assessment ranking the Wisconsin plan the best, most solidly managed, so the report Walker ordered up is even more highly anticipated.

The Pew Center on the States last week found that only Wisconsin out of the 50 states has enough money set aside to meet its current obligations to pay the pensions that have been promised to public employees. Wisconsin is also the only state in the country to receive a "solid performer" ranking from Pew for both its funding of pensions and health care obligations for retirees.
After he won the recall election, Walker said he was not promoting right-to-work legislation because he didn't want another divisive distraction.

A reasonable person would assume that messing with the state pension plan would fall into that category, but remember that Walker called his Act 10 surprise a "modest proposal."

And "progressive," too.

1 comment:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

"Fix" is the correct term. As in how you fix a dog or cat that has no health problems.

It's classic "starve the beast" manipulation, where Walker and WisGOP FUBARs a workable system, and then uses that FUBAR situation to sell off the services to campaign contributors, with no savings or improvement of service (probably the opposite).

The problem for Walker is that WRS is perfectly fine as is, and would only face distress due to self-inflicted moves by Walker to run off public employees who contribute to the system. There isn't enough Koch money in the world to save Scotty or his lackeys int he Legislature if they dares try to steal the pensions.