2008 Symposium: The Future of Public Employee Retirement Systems

May 1-2, 2008

About the Conference

This event examined the challenges facing public retirement systems in the US and around the world. After tracing the evolution of public sector pensions and retiree health programs, the discussion compared public with private sector pay and benefits. Next the speakers took up public policy concerns regarding accounting and management in public employee plans in the United States, focusing on ways to properly measure liabilities and how to make the plans more cost effective. The discussion also included analysis of defined contribution versus defined benefit plans for the public sector, and funding of federal retirement systems, both civilian and military. International lessons were brought to bear with a dsicussion of reforms in the German, the Japanese, and the Canadian public employee plans. This conference was a Wharton Impact Conference sponsored by the Wharton School’s Pension Research Council and Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research.

The conference was co-hosted by Gary Anderson and Olivia S. Mitchell at The Wharton School.

Conference Agenda

Thursday May 1, 2008

Session I: The Past and Future of Public Retirement Systems

  • “The Evolution of Public Sector Pension Plans in the United States”
    Robert L. Clark, Lee A. Craig, and Neveen Ahmed, North Carolina State University
    Download Presentation [PDF, 113K]
  • “Redefining Traditional Plans: Variations and Developments in Public Employee Retirement Plan Design”
    Keith Brainard, NASRA
    Download Presentation [PDF, 180K]

Discussant: Leslie Papke, Michigan State
Download Presentation [PDF, 98K]

Session II: New Developments in Public Plan Management

  • “Estimating State and Local Government Pension and Retiree Health Care Liabilities”
    Stephen T. McElhaney, Mercer
    Download Presentation [PDF, 49K]
  • “Marking Public Plan Liabilities to Market”
    Jeremy Gold, Gold Associates, and Gordon Latter, Merrill Lynch
    Download Presentation [PDF, 129K]
  • “Can Contribution Rate Cyclicality Be Better Managed?”
    Parry Young, Consultant: Public Pensions and State & Local Budgets
    Download Presentation [PDF, 341K]

Discussant: Robert North, City of NY
Download Presentation [PDF, 55K]

Discussant: Paul Angelo, Segal Co.
Download Presentation [PDF, 136K]

Keynote Speaker: Girard Miller, GASB
Download Presentation [PDF, 131K]

Session III: International Perspectives on Public Retirement Systems

  • “Reforming the German Civil Servant Pension Plan”
    Raimond Maurer and Ralph Rogalla, Goethe University of Frankfurt, and Olivia S. Mitchell, The Wharton School
  • “Unification of Social Security Pension Schemes in Japan: Toward a Single Scheme for Both the Civil Servants and the Private Employees”
    Junichi Sakamoto, Nomura Research Institute
    Download Presentation [PDF, 185K]
  • “The Outlook for Canada’s Public Sector Employee Pensions”
    Silvana Pozzebon, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales
    Download Presentation [PDF, 291K]

Discussant: Peter Brady, ICI
Download Presentation [PDF, 71K]

Session IV: Reform Paths for Public Plans

  • “Defined Contribution Pension Plans in the Public Sector: A Best Practice Benchmark Analysis”
    Roderick B. Crane, Michael Heller, and Paul Yakoboski, TIAA-CREF
    Download Presentation [PDF, 625K]
  • “Between Scylla and Charybdis: Improving the Cost Effectiveness of DB Retirement Plans”
    M. Barton Waring, Consultant
    Download Presentation [PDF, 293K]

Discussant: William Fornia, Aon Consulting
Download Presentation [PDF, 547K]

Friday May 2, 2008

Session V: Costs and Benefits of Public Retirement Systems

  • “The New Intersection on the Road to Retirement: Public Pensions, Economics, Perceptions, Politics, and Interest Groups”
    Beth Almeida and Kelly Kenneally, National Institute on Retirement Security, and David Madland, Center for American Progress
    Download Presentation [PDF, 150K]
  • “Pension Fund Activism: The Double-Edged Sword”
    Brad M. Barber, UC Davis
    Download Presentation [PDF, 293K]
  • “Administrative Costs of State Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Systems”
    Edwin C. Hustead, Consultant
    Download Presentation [PDF, 20K]

Discussant: Thomas Nyhan, Central States Pension Fund
Download Presentation [PDF, 35K]

Session VI: Roundtable
Chair: Gary Anderson, Consultant; Robert Schultze, Virginia Retirement System; Mark Iwry, Brookings Institution/Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; David Wilcox, Federal Reserve Board; Ralph Marsh, Houston Police Officers Pension System

For More Information

For more information, please contact:

Pension Research Council
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
3000 Steinberg Hall – Dietrich Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6302
Tel: 215.898.7620
Fax: 215.573-3418
Email: prc@wharton.upenn.edu