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Legislative & Elected/Appointed Officials

This portal has been designed as a resource center for public sector decision-makers.

Here you will find research from national and regional sources, video lectures and presentations, academic studies and white papers, as well as op-eds and viewpoints that address a wide range of public pension issues. Financial sustainability, pension reform, economic impact research, and best practices are among the topics in this area of our website.

We invite and encourage you to explore some of the other features and valuable information on the Public Pension Institute website.

FPPTA Research Materials

The Rising Tide of Insecurity: 401(k)s Hidden Fees Cost Investors Retirement Services (May 2013) - American workers who are dependent on a 401(k) account or mutual fund investment for their retirement security may be losing as much as two-thirds of their lifetime investment earnings in fees to brokers, bankers and fund managers. And most American workers don’t know it.

The Rising Tide of Insecurity: Wall Street’s Exuberant Embrace of Individual Investors (May 2013) - In 2008, mortgage-backed derivatives crumbled the housing market like it was a deck of cards and launched one of the steepest stock slides in American history. It also was the year Wall Street doled out $18 billion in bonuses to banking executives, fund managers and brokers, much of it from the profits made by selling new financial products to individual investors.

The Rising Tide of Insecurity: Americans’ Positive View of Pensions (May 2013) - Recent surveys by non-partisan research groups show significant public support for pension plan retirement systems, despite the demise of corporate pension plans in the U.S. workforce. This research is significant because it occurs despite a groundswell of “pension envy” exacerbated by steep stock market losses among 401(k) investors during the recent recession.

FPPTA Infographic: Defined Benefit Pension Plans Reduce Economic Hardships (January 2013) - This FPPTA infographic investigates the role of defined benefit pension plans have in relieving the elderly of economic hardships.

FPPTA Infographic: Defined Benefit Pensions Grow the Economy – Florida’s Story (December 2012) - This FPPTA infographic takes a look at what impact defined benefit pensions have on Florida's economy.

FPPTA Infographic: Where Does the Money Come From? Where Does it Go? (November 2012) - >Public sector pension funds continue to face increased scrutiny that they are devouring state and local budgets. But are they really? This FPPTA infographic investigates state and local revenues and how they are allocated to pension benefits for public workers.

Materials From Other Resources

LeRoy Collins Institute: Doing it Right: Recognizing Best Practices in Florida’s Municipal Pensions (September 2013) - Not all of Florida’s municipal pension plans are in trouble. Many plans are relatively healthy and wellfunded. This report identifies municipal pension plans in Florida that are in "good condition" and examines whether those plans tend to be better than others at following nationally recognized "best practices" in public pension management.

National Institute on Retirement Security: The Retirement Savings Crisis: Is It Worse Than We Think? (June 2013) - The study broadly examines how American households are faring in relation to retirement savings targets recommended by some financial services firms. It uses the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances to analyze retirement plan participation, savings, and overall assets of all U.S. households age 25 to 64, not just those with retirement account assets. This is important because some 45 percent, or 38 million working-age households, do not households, do not have any retirement account assets.

National Assoc. of State Auditors, Comptrollers & Treasurers: Pension Funding: A Guide for Elected Officials - This guide provides key facts about public pension plans, why it is essential to have a pension funding policy, a brief overview of the new GASB standards, and which issues state and local officials need to address. The guide also offers guidance for policy makers to use when developing their pension plan’s funding policy.

National Institute on Retirement Security: Pensions & Retirement Security 2013: A Roadmap for Policy Makers (February 2013) - New public opinion research finds that Americans remain highly anxious about their retirement prospects (85 percent) and would participate in a new pension system to help rebuild the road to retirement.

National Institute on Retirement Security: On the Right Track? Public Pension Reforms in the Wake of the Financial Crisis (December 2012) - New research examines key factors that have contributed to private and public employers’ pension decisions. It finds that closing a pension can cost substantially more than adjusting an existing plan. And, scaling back pensions can have destabilizing economic impacts, erode retirement security, and harm the workforce.

National Coalition of Public Employee Retirement Systems: NCPERS 2012 Fund Membership Study - In April and May 2012,the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems(NCPERS) undertook the most comprehensive study to date addressing retirement issues for this segment of the public sector. In partnership with Cobalt Community Research,NCPERS has collected and analyzed the most current data available on member funds’fiscal condition and steps they are taking to ensure fiscal and operational integrity.

NCPERS: The Secure Choice Pension: A Way Forward for Retirement Security in the Private Sector (September 2011) - The goal of the Secure Choice Pension is to provide private-sector workers who currently do not have access to a pension with a guaranteed, affordable, sustainable pension through a public–private structure that shares the risk between employers and employees and manages funding risk.


Introducing "The Public Pension Institute"
Ray Edmondson, CEO of the Florida Public Pension Trustee Association, introduces the Public Pension Institute, a new website designed to provide outreach and education online. It has been meant 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

The Benefits, Costs and Risks of Retirement Plans
David John, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP has worked with both the Heritage Foundation as well as the Brookings Institute. His unique experience affords him a valuable understanding of defined benefits plans which he shared at the FPPTA Annual Conference, June 23-26, 2013.

Re-Framing the Retirement Security Discussion
Moderator: Fred Nesbitt; FPPTA Media Consultant
Diane Oakley, Executive Director; NIRS
Hank Kim, Executive Director , NCPERS
Keith Brainard, Research Director; NASRA

Public pension industry thought leaders from national pension organizations discuss perceptions, realities, attacks and success stories surrounding defined benefit plans.