Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Questions Credibility Of The Outside Groups That Were Allowed By PERC To Have Their Analysis Added To Yesterday's Report By PERC

Jun 27, 2013, 08:51 ET from Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale called into question the reliability and credibility of outside analysis which normally is not allowed in official reports by the Public Employee Retirement Commission (PERC). In a highly charged political and ideological atmosphere two reports were admitted as an addendum to yesterday's overall report.

"This was an act of desperation and denial by those who are having such a difficult time accepting the facts and the realities that their plan is a loser for the commonwealth, school districts, taxpayers, and for current and future employees," Bloomingdale said.

"We have on the one hand two highly respected actuarial firms, hired by PSERS and SERS, who have a fiduciary responsibility to the Commonwealth telling PERC that the Governor's plan will cost over $33 billion," Bloomingdale said.

"Then, on the other hand we have a private actuarial firm, Milliman Inc, hired by the Governor to analyze his own plan, telling PERC the Governor's plan is great. What else should you expect from a firm hired by the Governor?" Bloomingdale asked rhetorically.

Furthermore Milliman Inc.'s. past record isn't without problems and questions. "They have run into trouble doing these types of studies in the past. In 2010 they were ordered by the Maryland Court of Appeals to pay $39 million to the Maryland state Pension System for miscalculating the contributions that state should have paid into the fund."

The other testimony criticizing the PSERS and SERS actuarial reports came from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a conservative think tank that has a long history of attacking the retirement plans of public sector workers. In fact John Arnold once was a natural gas derivatives trader for Enron. Enron folded like a house of cards and thousands of loyal and dedicated Enron employees lost all of their retirement savings in the company sponsored defined contribution pension. "Asking the Arnold Foundation about pension security is like asking a Wal-Mart Executive about fair wages," Bloomingdale said.

"PERC made a serious mistake in allowing these two groups to have their opinions included in their report. The facts speak for themselves. I urge our state legislators to decide on the facts not politics or ideology," Bloomingdale urged.

SOURCE Pennsylvania AFL-CIO