Recent Articles From John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

By John Iekel10/22/2014 • 0 Comments

Discussion over public pensions is going on all over the United States. But two of them in Texas — involving city firemen — cast the matter in a different light: Houston and Fort Worth and their firefighter organizations are at odds over the pensions those cities provide their current and future fire and rescue personnel.

By John Iekel10/22/2014 • 0 Comments

Education funding has figured prominently in the Michigan gubernatorial race, says Mackinac Center for Public Policy Assistant Director for Fiscal Policy James Hohman, because of the underfunding of the state school system’s retirement plan.

By John Iekel10/21/2014 • 0 Comments

How do you build a successful practice? In the inaugural 403(b) Advisor Web Forum on Oct. 10, NTSA Executive Director Chris DeGrassi asked advisors Bruce Smith, Richard Dobson and Jerald Wozniak — all of whom are 2014 NTSA Elite Advisors — for their insights on aspects of how best to go about doing just that.

By John Iekel10/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Public pensions can be fair game when a city government declares bankruptcy under federal law, the federal judge overseeing Stockton, Calif.’s bankruptcy has ruled.

By John Iekel10/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Retirement plans and health benefits are different things and serve different purposes. Nonetheless, they can intersect functionally — and retirement accounts and health savings accounts are a prime example, as a BenefitsPro report observed recently.

By John Iekel10/14/2014 • 0 Comments

State pension plans, long beleaguered and adrift in a sea of red, may have turned a corner. A report by LifeHealthPRO says that data from Bloomberg show a slight increase in the states’ ability to meet their pension requirements.

By John Iekel10/13/2014 • 0 Comments

A new white paper by the Conference of Consulting Actuaries’ Public Plans Community targeted to actuaries and retirement boards examines the development of actuarial funding policies and practices.

By John Iekel10/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The fiscal pressure that public pension plan obligations exerts on state governments is not going away, the Cato Institute cautions in a report it recently issued. Cato expects that the cost of those plans will be a major driver of state budgets.

By John Iekel10/6/2014 • 0 Comments

The digital world offers public — not just private — plans revolutionary means to communicate, store and share data. But using it in a responsible and ethical manner is as important as it is challenging, as Lauren Bloom, an expert on professional ethics and risk management, pointed out in the recent webcast, “Ethics and Professionalism in the Digital Age.”

By John Iekel9/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Pennsylvania and neighbor to the east New Jersey, no strangers to bracing news regarding the effect of their financially strapped public pension plans, have received yet more tough assessments. And the Keystone State’s neighbor to the west, Ohio, has as well.

By John Iekel9/26/2014 • 0 Comments

The Office of Personnel Management on Sept. 24 announced that surviving same-sex spouses of federal annuitants, employees or former employees who died before June 26, 2013 may apply for death benefits.

By John Iekel9/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler recently presented the legislature with recommendations from the state’s Retirement Security Task Force for increasing Oregonians’ retirement savings, access to a retirement plan and ability to enroll in one.

By John Iekel9/18/2014 • 0 Comments

In “Public Pensions in Flux? A Review of State Retirement System and Alternatives to Traditional Defined Benefit Plan,” Ellie Lowder of TSA Consulting and Mike Webb of Cammack Retirement shared their insights on state retirement systems, current cutbacks, and the opportunities and challenges that come with developments concerning these plans. 

By John Iekel9/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Public pensions at all levels became healthier in 2013, according to recent studies. Wilshire Consulting’s examinations of state, county and city pension plan funding show that their funding ratio improved last year.

By John Iekel9/16/2014 • 0 Comments

Washington has been training its eye on fees and transparency for years now. But so is the industry; the North American Securities Administrators Association is the latest organization to convene a group trying to make sure broker-dealers are giving investors fee disclosures they can understand.

By John Iekel9/11/2014 • 0 Comments

The Garden State is the latest state whose credit rating has suffered due to a pension funding shortfall. Credit agencies have downgraded their ratings of New Jersey debt due to the state’s worsening pension funding ratio.

By John Iekel9/11/2014 • 0 Comments

The California Controller’s office soon will make information about the state’s approximately 130 public pension systems available on a new website. The site does not provide data on California public pension plans, but the controller’s office says that it will later the fall.

By John Iekel9/9/2014 • 0 Comments

The Rhode Island Democratic primary is being touted as more than a way to decide who their 2014 gubernatorial candidate will be — in a sense the reform of the state pension system is on the ballot as well. Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, implemented the reform in 2011.

By John Iekel9/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The Land of Lincoln has earned a dubious distinction, according to a new report by Moody’s: It is without peer in how its state pension liability compares to its revenue. Moody’s says that Illinois’ pension debt amounted to a whopping 318% of its revenue in 2012. Its three-year average for the period 2010-12 was almost as bad, at 258%. And that trend has continued.

By John Iekel9/2/2014 • 0 Comments

Prospects for state and local employees’ financial security in retirement are better than that of their private-sector counterparts, according to a new paper from the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA). Nonetheless, the paper argues, steps still should be taken to improve their readiness.

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