Report: Public Pension Funds Slightly Healthier

March 5, 2014 – In The News
Fox Business

Michael Sweet was quoted in the Fox Business article, "Report: Public Pension Funds Slightly Healthier." Full text can be found in the March 5, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is noted below.

The health of U.S. public pension funds improved slightly in 2013, according to a report published by a consulting firm. The report found that 134 state retirement funds were capable of covering 75 percent of their pension obligations, an increase of three percent from 2012.

Attorneys noted that the slight improvement shouldn’t be mistaken as a sign the pension system is fixed however.

According to Michael Sweet, funding problems will remain as long as public pensions are so closely aligned with often-volatile stock markets.

“We can expect there will be another market downturn and this problem will reappear,” he said.

Fluctuations in the market “create extraordinary problems for local governments,” Sweet said, because those governments have to continue paying into their pension fund even as the stock markets decline.