Introducing “The Public Pension Institute”
For years, the Florida Public Pension Trustees Association (www.fppta.org) has labored under the realization that there are many people involved in the public pension industry that we haven’t be able to reach. Many of these people are important stakeholders whose opinions and policies affect public worker benefits.
The FPPTA has developed a nationally recognized certification program to educate public pension trustees. Our program is used by more than 250 of Florida’s 489 public pension boards. But we want to do more. That is our business: to EDUCATE.
The Public Pension Institute (www.publicpensioninstitute.org) has been created by the Florida Public Pension Trustees Association to provide outreach and education online. It has been designed to offer information to everyone who works with public employees: not just trustees, but city commissioners, mayors, finance managers and administrators. Most importantly, The Public Pension Institute also has been designed to serve as a forum for discussion so that it will become a central source of news and information on all pension related subjects.
We are not a union, we don’t support candidates for office financially or in kind, we are non-partisan. We don’t sell insurance, financial products or administrative services.
The information and education provided electronically from The Public Pension Institute will not be credited towards any Certified Public Pension Trustee designation.
So, why did we feel we needed another web site?
The FPPTA home web site is for our members and is full of membership and member oriented information.
The Public Pension Institute is an open web site. No membership is needed and no passwords are required. The site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. If you have a question there will be a place to submit it, and you may be anonymous if you desire.
Our goal is worth repeating. We want to educate people about defined benefit pension plans.
Many state legislators, elected officials and appointees are elected and then face issues they are not fully familiar with, including issues related to employee benefits and retirement plans. We understand this and we know the same can be said for members of employee unions.
The state of Florida has the most educated municipal public pension trustees in the country, but they don’t negotiate or grant pension benefits. It would be a violation of their fiduciary duties. We need to educate the people who do. The reality is that no public worker benefits are granted without the approval of municipal officials. Since state laws impede or prohibit elected and appointed officials from using pension systems to pay for their education (it’s viewed as a conflict of interest), we are offering that education free of charge. The site is open to everyone.
The Public Pension Institute has been designed to bring all interested parties together in an online platform to help each understand the problems and challenges facing the others.
Our program for elected and appointed officials will focus on subjects commonly misunderstood in the media and by the general public. If we are asked to host a Town Hall Meeting or make a presentation before a city commission, or a panel of the Florida Legislature we will gladly oblige - and there will be no charge. There are 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day. Seventy percent of Florida’s retired state and municipal employees choose to remain in the state – and that doesn’t include the retirees from elsewhere who choose to relocate to Florida. Retirement security is a very significant factor in our local and state economies. We must make reasonable decisions now to protect the future of our economy.
There are people roaming the state with quick fix ideas for local government, and some of them have a financial interest in doing away with the public sector defined benefit pensions. We don’t sell insurance, annuities, administrative services, or invest money.
We believe in protecting defined benefit pension systems and retirement security. With proper education and understanding we believe it can be done. The state of Florida faces many challenging situations:
We can help educate people about how to properly conduct collective bargaining, while keeping sustainable benefits. We invite you to join us at The Public Pension Institute.