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Public pension critics launch another initiative

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Nationally Recognized Pension Reformers Launch New Initiative

PR Newswire, Jan. 26, 2016

 A group of nationally recognized pension reformers on Jan. 26 announced the launch of the Retirement Security Initiative (RSI), a national, bipartisan advocacy organization focused on helping state and local governments meet their pension obligations and avoid insolvency. Spearheading the group's efforts are: former Utah State Senator Dan Liljenquist; former Lt. Governor of New York Richard Ravitch; former Mayor of San Jose Chuck Reed; former CFO of Chicago Lois Scott; and financial restructuring expert Jim Spiotto.

With national unfunded pension liabilities in excess of $1 trillion, state and local governments throughout the U.S. are under tremendous strain to provide adequate services and meet their pension obligations.  As pension costs continue to skyrocket, policymakers often pull funds from important public services like education, public safety and transportation to pay pension debt. In the end, it's taxpayers and communities that pay the price.

"We need to fix the pension crisis now to avoid further tax increases and public service disruptions," said Liljenquist, who championed groundbreaking Utah pension reforms during his senate tenure. "Many pensions, as they are currently structured, are like the game Pac Man, chewing up funds that should be going toward essential community services."

In an effort to help state and local governments meet these challenges, RSI marshals a broad range of expertise and resources to organize and support policy development and advocacy efforts at the federal, state and local levels.

"Solutions to the funding and cost crises need to be developed with input from employees, retirees, labor, management, taxpayers and fiscal experts," said Reed, who spearheaded comprehensive pension reform that was approved by San Jose voters in 2012. "RSI has the experience and resources to bring all of these parties together."

RSI advocates for state and local governments to act to ensure that their retirement plans are sustainable, fiscally sound and responsibly managed so that all retirees and employees get paid what they have earned. The organization also advocates for decision making and management of retirement plans to be open, transparent and non-political.

To learn more about RSI, visit: RetirementSecurityInitiative.org.