We maintain a similar position on pension reform this year; however, we will be looking to initiate and support issues that lead to true pension reform, including but not limited to those issues listed above. More specifically:
Extend the required age and years of service.
Consider the effect of full survivor benefits and disability laws.
Another critical issue that shouldn't be overlooked is the new accounting standards announced by the Government Accounting Standards Board that will require the state and potentially municipalities to show the total unfunded liability of the plan on its balance sheets. This will no doubt affect the bond rating for the state and municipalities. Poorer bond ratings would price almost all types of infrastructure development out of reach for municipalities.
This is a complicated issue that will require all affected parties to come to the table and work together to solve. We stand willing and able to be a part of that ongoing conversation.
Stager is executive director of the Oklahoma Municipal League.