SAN FRANCISCO Dec 5 Alaska Governor Sean
Parnell will urge in his fiscal 2015 budget plan that the state
tap $3 billion in one of its savings accounts to pay down a
combined $11.9 billion unfunded liability in Alaska's two
largest pension funds.
The proposal would also allow Alaska to reduce its annual
contribution to its Public Employees' Retirement System and
Teachers' Retirement System to $500 million a year from this
year's $600 million and raise the funded status of the two
pension funds by 10 percent almost immediately, Parnell's office
said in a statement released on Thursday.
The Public Employees' Retirement System is currently 63
percent funded and the Teachers' Retirement System is currently
53 percent funded.
Parnell's plan comes at a time of increasing concern
nationwide about the cost of public pensions and the overall
financial health of retirement systems for public-sector
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, on Thursday signed
into law long-awaited reforms to his state's public pension
system, which is underfunded by nearly $100 billion.
"Given the significant and escalating resources required to
pay down the unfunded pension liability, it is in Alaska's
interest to dedicate some of our budget reserves now to paying
down our obligation, and move the state's annual payment to a
lower, more sustainable and predictable level," Parnell, a
Republican, said in a statement.