Reliable pensions are good for Wyoming
Wyo Retirement System board meets this week
ESPC, allies plan townhall meetings
The Joint Appropriations Committee will devote part of its interim work prior to the 2013 session to scrutiny of the pension system that supports retirement for tens of thousands of Wyoming residents who now work or previously worked for the public as teachers, fire fighters, police officers, judges, game wardens, and many other jobs.
The Equality State Policy Center will be involved in the effort to solidify the system as part of the Coalition for a Healthy Retirement System.
There are many reasons for supporting the existing defined benefit system:
- Professional managers oversee investments, helping to maintain its promise of security in retirement.
- Good pensions help recruit and retain highly qualified employees, helping ensure stability of state agencies and improving their effectiveness.
- They are an economic asset that keeps income flowing into the local economies where pensioners live. In 2009, 22,000 Wyoming residents received more than $326 million in benefits that rippled through their local communities.
The Joint Appropriations Committee has yet to set its schedule of meetings. When the committee takes up its discussion of the pension system, it will get a report from the Wyoming Retirement System (WRS). The Wyoming Retirement System’s board of directors will meet Thursday and Friday (May 23 and 24) in Kemmerer to hear an actuary‘s report on the soundness of the system. The actuary’s report will help the board determine what other information is needed for its presentation to the JAC.
Meanwhile, several ESPC member organizations – the Wyoming Education Association, the Wyoming Public Employees Association, the Federated Fire Fighters of Wyoming, and the Wyoming State AFL-CIO – plan to stage a series of town hall meetings to inform policy-makers, public employees, and the public about the system and its importance to the state. The first of those meetings will be in Sheridan Aug. 14. (The location of that meeting is being determined. Stay tuned for more information as the logistics are finalized.)
The Coalition for a Healthy Retirement System includes the Wyoming Education Association, the Wyoming Retired Education Personnel Association, the Wyoming Public Employees Association, the Federated Fire Fighters of Wyoming, AARP Wyoming, the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police, the Wyoming Highway Patrol Association, and the Wyoming State AFL-CIO.