AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Reason Foundation jointly published a new study on the emerging fiscal difficulties within the City of Austin Employees’ Retirement System (COAERS). The study, Evaluating Solutions for Austin’s Billion Dollar Pension Crisis, offers an in-depth analysis of Austin’s largest municipal retirement system and proposes several actuarially sound solutions to improve COAERS’s solvency.
“Austin’s largest local retirement system is in serious trouble. By its own standards, the City of Austin Employees’ Retirement System’s unfunded liabilities totaled $1.3 billion in 2016, an increase of $875 million over 10 years,” said James Quintero, director of the Center for Local Liberty at TPPF. “Under a more realistic set of standards, the pension debt is likely closer to $2.4 billion, and growing fast. That fiscal imbalance not only calls into question the long-term sustainability of the plan but also suggests that both taxpayers and retirees are in harm’s way under the status quo.”
“Solving the COAERS’s solvency issues won’t happen overnight, but it is possible with the right framework and decisive action,” said Leonard Gilroy, director of government reform at the Reason Foundation. "In fact, depending on how committed local policymakers are to fixing the problem, there are a variety of different ways to get the plan back on firm footing over the long-term. It simply requires resolve and political courage to do what’s in the best interest of Austinites."
You can read the full report here.
For more information, please contact Alicia Pierce at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin that aims to foster human flourishing by protecting and promoting liberty, opportunity and personal responsibility.