By ALEX GIMARC
One of the remarkably ugly proposals happily making its way through the Alaska Legislature is a return to defined benefit pensions for state employees. The vehicle for doing this is difficulty in hiring and retaining police, fire, and first responders.
Legislation to make this so is HB 22, spearheaded in the House by Rep. Andy Josephson, who has been pushing it hard. As of this writing, there is no fiscal note, though we are promised one — real soon now.
Before we get into the pointing and yelling portion of this piece, I want to remind everyone why Alaska doesn’t do defined benefits. The reason? We can’t afford it anymore, a problem that became obvious nearly 40 years ago. That is why Tier I PERS / TERS was replaced by Tier II (a partial move to defined contributions) in 1986. Tier III was passed 1996, and Tier IV in 2006.
HB 22 is an attempt to return to Tier I for police / fire / first responders. Think of it as a start.
The stated problem is poor retention of law enforcement and firefighters following training. The solution proffered in HB 22 is to pump up their retirement benefits, potentially blowing up the currently (and perennially) stressed PERS/TERS retirement system. This solution would seem to be both high risk and premature.
There are several things missing in this discussion, most importantly the cost benefit analysis of the problem. First is to actually scope the problem. How many people are we talking about? How much is it costing us? Are there any other possible approaches other than simply throwing money at it?
Once we have that discussion (which hasn’t happened yet in public that I know of), we can then start talking about solutions. What do we propose spending to fix it? What happens if the solution proposed in HB 22 doesn’t work? Is the benefit of going to defined benefit for pensions greater than the risk of blowing up the entire PERS / TERS system as it exists today? How do we quantify a positive result?
The fact that the fiscal note does not yet exist is telling. The fact that nobody at any level has proposed running a test for a few years tells us even more. Testing is a really smart thing to do, and we ought to do a lot more of it. It would have quickly identified problems that surfaced following passage of SB 91 in 2015, problems that took the legislature multiple pieces of legislation to fix. Testing this proposal for a few years will tell us if it works before we bet the farm with the entire PERS/TERS system, the PFD and the corpus of the Permanent Fund.
If retention of trained police and fire is a problem, we then need to look at training costs (time and money).
The State of Alaska pays a $20,000 hiring bonus to new troopers. Half of it is paid upon hire. The other half after probation and certification (one year). No other bonus is paid. No additional obligation for service is agreed upon receipt of the bonus. And for some reason, the newly trained officers don’t hang around.
Contrast this with how the Department of Defense responds to pilot shortages. Pilots are expensive to manufacture both in time and cost. In response to pilot shortages, DoD came up with substantial bonuses to retain trained people. These range from $15,000 – $35,000 / year. When receiving the bonus, the pilot signs a fixed term of future service, generally five years following their initial obligation with an option to extend. Note that it takes about 52 months to manufacture a new USAF pilot. USAF pilots generally cost $0.84 – 1.60 million to train in basic military flight training. There are additional training costs associated with whatever they end up flying after basic training.
Alaska State Troopers attend a live-in 18-week course in Sitka. Their training costs are $225,000 / new trooper (first year). APD puts its new officers through a 25-week course with 1,063 hours in the syllabus. Their training costs are not available.
From here, it would appear that the legislature and the Governor aren’t even considering increasing signing bonuses or tying receipt to a fixed term of future service. Why would they rather blow up the budget with a return to defined benefit pensions?
This is where we get into the pointing and yelling (politics) part of this. Public employee unions have long despised defined contribution, which we can afford, and demanded a return to defined benefit, which we can’t. From here, it appears they have finally elected enough legislators to make it happen. There is no small amount of concern that Gov. Mike Dunleavy will sign the legislation when it passes.
Legislators backing this even think they’ve got the outyear budget increases covered, paid for by the size of the future PFD which will rapidly be driven to zero. Look at public comments by Sen. Matt Claman or Cathy Giessel about right sizing the PFD, and “responsibly” paying for spending (disbursement of a statutory PFD is somehow irresponsible).
Look at every single legislator who voted against the PFD passed last session as a someone who will pay for this with your PFD. Even Gov. Dunleavy has political cover, as he can point to the PFD passed last year as an example of him delivering what he promised to do. For just one year.
Police / fire / first responders are the opening gambit, the camel’s nose under the tent, as a vote against HB 22 will be construed as a vote against first responders. The Alaska Education Association will be next in line, closely followed by Local 71 and the rest of the public employee unions.
All of them marching happily into the land of zero-dollar PFDs, because we must pay our obligations as a state to our employees, mustn’t we? Statutory obligations to our citizens? Not so much.
And the unions will funnel contributions from their members to democrat political campaigns to elect more democrats to put more obligations on the Permanent Fund. When there isn’t enough money in the PFD to pay for this expansion, the supporters will quickly be into the corpus of the Permanent Fund itself to cover their costs.
And the first responders are simply the opening bid, a sympathetic one at that.
We can stop this with simple bonuses coupled with fixed obligations that do not impact PERS / TERS outyear costs. And somewhere along the line, we ought to run a multi-year test to see if it actually works. The fact that these are not even being mentioned — much less debated — speaks volumes.
Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997. His interests include science and technology, environment, energy, economics, military affairs, fishing and disabilities policies. His weekly column “Interesting Items” is a summary of news stories with substantive Alaska-themed topics. He was a small business owner and Information Technology professional.
I had the dubious benefit of working somewhat closely with various members of several of the AST Detachments over the years and can say for sure that one of the main reasons that newly trained Troopers often choose to leave to work elsewhere is that a culture of small minded chickensh*t is pervasive at AST.
Yes, we want our troopers to be honest and of excellent integrity but some of the stuff that regularly goes on at AST is beyond belief.
Thank you for the clear, specific, examples of supporting evidence that so strongly support your allegations. Not.
It’s gonna happen. We’ve drifted too far left and we’re Californicated. Like locus in a swarm, the left will ruin us, too.
The fact that it is unaffordable and wildly fiscally irresponsible isn’t Josephson’s concern. He and the unions will get theirs. When the bill does come due, others have to pay.
Like any good democrat.
PFD is history and everyone with a brain knows it. After Dunleavy pissed himself in Wasilla, it was all over but the counting down.
Government has always been akin to a group of teenagers when it comes to managing money. Would you leave a bag of money in care of a group of teenagers? We should have liquidated the fund and dispersed it to the citizens years ago. Its now time to do so. Its roughly $100,000 per person. Of course, to be fair-minded, we should give the option to citizens of leaving their share in the care and custody of state government. A few that may be foolish enough to do so.
I am a life-long Alaskan with a brain (and yes it is functioning just for the record) and I do not know nor do I agree that the PFD is history. I do agree we are on the precipice. However, we are still a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. This may sound funny (and maybe even impossible) to you, to the politicians, and to many others. This is a fact…this may sound funny but we the people have come and are coming in greater and greater measure and awakening to get our government back.
Sincerely, Avenger, I enjoy reading your comments. I also believe your comments and views represent the thoughts of many of our Alaskan neighbors. I find it very helpful to hear that perspective. Have a wonderful day. By the way, I’m looking forward to blue skies, sunshine, and warmer days as March arrives. You?
first off move them all out of PERS/TERS and into social security. Second offer a 401K type program with some matching from the State. Say no pensions. (they are unaffordable)
Genius, where have you been for the last decade? The defined benefit “pension” programs ended in 2006 and the current scheme is the government version of a 401(k). They have something like what SS should be with the Supplemental Benefits System.
I retired from USPS on CSRS defined benefit plan. I withdrew (in the form of pension plan payments) every cent that I had contributed in 2 1/2 years!!!!! THAT is why we can no longer afford defined benefit pension plans.
Alex G, a great article pointing out the shortcomings of the proposal to bring back Defined Benefits. Even the federal government recognized that its Defined Benefit program was unsustainable. So, in 1986 it changed all its new civilian hires to a 3 part retirement program: 1. Social Security; 2. A 401K investment plan; and 3. a very small Basic Benefit Plan. The Basic Benefit Plan was computed this way: Years of Service X High Year Salary X Pension Multiplier of 1%. Even the DOD recognized that the military Defined Benefit program was unsustainable. It went to a Blended Retirement System which includes Social Security, a 401K investment plan, and a Basic Benefit Plan.
Alaska can learn something, finally, from the federal government. The Defined Benefit program is unsustainable
Our legislature reveals,at times, that it can’t even read. I don’t trust that it, as a body, can do math.
Whether defined benefits, or defined contributions many retirees leave simply for a lower cost of living. Defined benefits and mediocre salaries will result in mediocre employees. Pay a good wage and you will get good employees
We already have mediocre employees, so compensating them appropriately is appropriate.
So just tell me what it is we all did to “earn” a PFD? It’s funny how conservatives accuse liberals of being the party of handouts but I can’t think of a better example of a handout then the PFD.
You literally do nothing. And the PFD shows up.
But yeah, “back the blue” and “the party of law and order”, ha, conservatives make me laugh…
We all did the same thing anybody does to qualify for a dividend, we joined a fund that pays them. Why is that so hard for some to understand? The Permanent Fund is a commonwealth fund that pays (well, paid until Walker and others screwed it up) a defined dividend. As common members of the commonwealth fund, the dividend is paid to us. Is a dividend paid by Apple or Pfizer to its shareholders a giveaway, a hand out?
Uh, you need to put your own actual dollars into Apple or Pfizer to get a dividend. That’s how that works, FYI.
For a PFD, all you do is show up and put your hand out,
Yeah but you really didn’t do anything..that’s my point.
Randy, see Valley Deplorable’s comment below for a better view than my comment offered.
It’s an owed dividend resulting from the people of Alaska agreeing to surrender subsurface rights without a fight in exchange for a share a the oil revenues.
We and the state agreed, it became a legal business deal. As a legal business deal, it is owed money from our investments. If any company tried what the state of Alaska has, they would be fined, people would be jailed, and lawsuits would bankrupt people.
This is, you, like most liberals already know this. You just choose to ignore inconvenient facts in favor of pointless bromides you think make you clever.
Uh, it’s still money you do nothing to earn.
Lots of Alaska’s retired first responders are already receiving pensions…have been for decades…and yet your entitlement check from the State (pfd) still comes year after year…
Uh…it’s still money you do nothing to earn.
And actually, I generally vote conservative, not liberal. Speaking of that, I thought the Republican Party supported their law enforcement, fire, EMS?
So what did public employees to earn and deserve the PFD more than the people of Alaska? We get that you would rather government double up that money rather than the money given to the people for food, school clothes, heating their homes etc. Yeah, the left cares so much about the poor and middle class. Except they don’t. The PFD lifts thousands of alaskans out of poverty every year. But I get that the left doesn’t give a rats behind about that.
Randy, if you’ve visited this site for a while, you’ll understand that Commenters here will happily starve their own government in order to receive a larger PFD. Gotta get that new Big Screen, after all…
It’s a combination of unfettered greed, hatred of government, and a deeply-entrenched sense of entitlement.
And it’s been getting worse for years.
Whidbey, if you’ve visited this site for a while, you’ll understand that Commenters here will happily starve their own bloated government in order to receive the statutory PFD. Gotta do something to try and reign in an out of control addict, after all…
It’s a combination of unfettered greed, love of bloated government, and a deeply-entrenched sense of entitlement that keeps liberals coming back for more and more and more of the peoples money.
And it’s been getting worse for years.
Whidbey, if you’ve visited this site for a while, you would understand that commenters here fully understand that the bloated government expenditures are completely attuned unto the PFD and its payouts.
It is indeed an issue of unfettered greed, and a deeply entrenched sense of entitlement, but not by the populace, but rather by the government itself.
And it has indeed been getting worse for years, beginning with the Walker so called administration.
Since Walkers time, it has been accepted that monies intended for the citizenry via the PFD have now been given unto the Government, of which was never intended.
The payout within the PFD was intended unto each and every citizen of the State of Alaska, regardless of status or income, all being an equal payment based upon their citizenship within Alaska.
No more, no less.
And the formula as to each individual’s payout has no encumbrance as to their own Indvidual income.
We are all equal within the payout of the PFD, regardless of our individual income, and deservedly so, as we are all equal within the payout as deservedly so, whether as a millionaire, or a homeless individual with nothing.
We are all of us equal within the payout.
But wait, I thought it lifted people out of poverty? They must be spending it on a years supply of beans and rice and not the big screen tv you speak of lol
Randy if you have to ask then you’re no Alaskan. Go back to your closet and do some reading on the PFD.
Did you know that land owners do not own the mineral rights on their land? The citizens of Alaska own the mineral rights of all state and private land “in common.” Therefore, the mineral royalties belong to the citizens of Alaska in common, AKA the PFD. Since the state took away your mineral rights, they owe it back to you in the form of royalties.
That’s how it is owed to you. Of course, those who don’t own land don’t deserve mineral rights, but we give it to them anyway.
Point of clarification: Land owners retain their “surface mineral rights” as the State hung on to only “subsurface” (oil and gas…) rights. I believe any federal homesteads still retain their subsurface rights.
Your claim that we are owed the PFD because of not having subsurface rights is false in a legal sense.
Indirectly though, the State revenue from oil, is/was so great it generated 100’s of Billions of surplus revenue.
Some of it was crapped away in an orgy of government spending, some of it spent on services the public expects and demands, some of it was wisely placed into the Permanent Fund which can generate recurring revenue. So much revenue that one can legitimately argue the “people” deserve a portion of the largess (as well as benefiting from paying no broad-based State taxes).
But now, we have drained our savings accounts, and the annual surplus is not what it used to be.
If you are unhappy with the size of government versus the size of the Dividend, you should fire the managers of our “endowment” – the Legislature.
This retirement plan ‘https://drb.alaska.gov/employee/dbrplan.html looks nothing like my retirement plan. Well funded defined benefit pension plans are funded by employees paying as much as or more than 15% of their hourly rate into the pension, not 6-7%. Payouts in well funded defined pension plans are not tied to top 3-5 year earnings, they are tied to contributions…the more you contribute the more you get paid out. Payouts in well funded defined pension plans also have a later retirement date and pay bonuses based upon delaying retirement. State government does not need to offer a gold plated subsidized handout retirement plan to attract employees, offering the option for a reasonable employee paid defined benefit pension alongside what is currently offered might get the state a few more employees. Offering tier I benefits that were done away with decades ago is absurd.
It is poor communication to utter a vague figure of speech such as, “blowing up the entire PERS / TERS system as it exists today.” What, precisely, does that mean? A topic such as this deserves as clear, concise and understandable language as possible.
The unions will funnel…..exactly. Pay to vote. However, how do unions profit from increased retirement payments? Those payments don’t get funneled into union accou ts through dues.
If we had a governor with a backbone that wasn’t afraid of his shadow, there would be no chance of passing bad legislation. Little Mike has been hiding for 4 years now and is scared to use his veto power as a fiscally responsible governor. There is no hope for the future if this becomes law.
No hope for the future? Lol. You’re being a tad dramatic.
Read the bill. It is not a return to Tier 1. It is an inexpensive hybrid based on fully funded models from other states. Any extra cost will likely be completely offset by not having to train new first responders as they leave as soon as they are vested and take their very expensive training funded by the state of Alaska to other states who have defined benefits. Signing bonuses only work to sign and retain for a short time, and as soon as the first responder/trooper is well trained and useful, they depart for greener pastures. Don’t print falsehoods in an attempt to sway your audience, at least try to argue against the facts, but they are pretty tough to argue against if you really look into it.
Jay Hammond was governor when I decided to make Alaska my home . He said that because we were denied mineral rights (unconstitutionally) by the federal gov, and only the state could profit, the best way to meet people’s needs was to return a share to residents. Thus the PFD corporation was formed and statutes enacted to invest these tax monies and return a portion of profits to all Alaskans. Legislators of past managed to write budgets within the law. Worked ok for 35 years, then Bill Walker in conjunction with our AK bar association appointed judges said screw them. They said that laws are for the commoners and not themselves. The legislature has openly discussed there own lawlessness while stealing dividends. Some, like Mike Shower have earnestly tried to repair this injustice, with public but not legislative support. Now the lobbyists are confident they can go for the kill and spend it away. Anyone else object to the incestuous gang hiding out in Juneau?
Definitely! I also remember when Governor Dunleavy asked for public support for the PFD but did not get it. The only way to prevent theft is to pressure those who would do it with overwhelming support for the PFD and more judicious use of the state budget monies. And then turn those who will not get the message like Giessel was voted out in 2018.
We still have around $7 billion in debt from the existing defined benefit system.
Allowing any worker to work for 20 years and then retire at age 40 and collect a retirement check for the next 40 years is madness, and bankrupting.
We need Dunleavy to lead. He needs to veto this bill, and the legislature needs to work on retention bonuses for some critical workers.
You can do actuarily sound “20 and out plans” but it takes far more substantial employer and employee contributions than anyone has been willing to make. It’s much easier to just take the People’s PFDs.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t “Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997” mean the author himself benefits nicely from having a generous defined benefit pension, courtesy of the US Government and its taxpayers, as well as being able to shop at the BX?
Defined contribution programs offload investment management to individuals, many of whom are not capable to do so, in order to improve Corporate profits. Ask anyone whose lives off of a defined benefit pension, and they’ll tell you how much better that approach is.
And by the way, this approach might just have an impact on the homeless situation. Since defined benefit programs pay out until death, retirees never completely run out of money.
‘Ol blue dog fires again with his free money til death and solving the vagrancy problem all at one time. Well done!!
Thing is, any and all moves must be done within budgetary constraints. You cannot spend what you do not have. If you think this is a viable tactic, try it in your personal life for a few months. If it doesn’t work at home, why would it work in government?
What the DoD is doing now is sustainable. What for profit private companies do also works and is sustainable.
Regarding the PFD, you need to research how and why the fund was set up before recommending theft of such funds.
So, what you are saying is that our $31,000,000,000,000 deficit the Federal level is sustainable?
The main difference between defined contribution and defined benefit pensions is not how much money is needed to fund them (it’s about the same for both), it’s not about where the funds come from (the employer and employee both pay about the same upfront), and it’s not about how long the payout continues (both are generally intended to last until the beneficiary dies). The difference is that the investment risk and responsibility is transferred to the employee in a defined contribution plan as opposed to leaving it under professional management as is done for a traditional pension – a task for for which most people are not really qualified.
You arguing with me without even understanding what I’m proposing, and apparently without a good understanding of how the two different systems work.
You’re not understanding me. What I’m saying is that having dependable pensions may keep some people from becoming homeless in their old age. I’m not recommending using the PF for anything, nor proposing theft of any funds. Please don’t accuse without understanding first.
Wondering if the author is concerned about any/all Federal pensions. I hope he will speak to that.
No. No. And more no to HB 22. We need to reverse the course of travel and become less centralized and more decentralized. Large and grasping state employee unions are an anathema. They drain the treasury and do not return value. Why would we want to follow in the footsteps of states like Cali or CT?
Rearranging deck chairs on – the ship of state. Change the colors while yer at it. Lol
The author needs to call BDO forensic accounting business. Hire someone smarter than you. They are global, and they have a office in Anchorage.
Thanks for your well-written article, Alex Gimarc.
Three issues might be discussed in a followup.
First, when one asks cui bono, the first thought is not public employees. At working-stiff level, they don’t seem much different in form and function from productive Alaskans.
No, primary beneficiaries are public-employee political action committees (PAC’s), parasitic organisms living off public-employee union dues, species whose numbers and wealth lawmakers certainly consider during elections, negotiations, or whenever the unions want, a species whose wealth increases whenever union-pay raises are “negotiated”.
Does anyone think public-sector union salaries and pensions won’t be “negotiated” to assure no member’s take home pay is affected by sales and income taxes imposed to pay for these things?
Surely this bit’s only a coincidence. According to Alaska’s “2023 Lobbyist Directory”, someone pays lobbyist Jeff Kasper $6250 every month to: “Provide consultation and advocacy services to improve the retirement system for Alaska public employees.” Jeff does his job right, unions and PAC’s win, everyone else foots the bill.
Second, maybe “defined benefits” should come with defined obligations: top-quality entry-level requirements (i.e., nothing whatsoever related to diversity, equity, and inclusion), employment predicated on achieving job-skill milestones, 7-year employment contract with payback clause for volunary, early termination. Because union and taxpayer perceptions of hard-to-fill professional positions may understandably differ, the Governor should identify and publish hard-to-fill professional positions
Third, with respect, a multi-year test to see if it actually works seems unnecessary. If, as another writer indicated, the proposal can’t, or won’t, be forensically modelled on paper for all to see and debate, then the evidence is clear that the scheme is unworkable and unaffordable.
There’s another problem which might be good news, a blessing in disguise. Remember, on Alaska’s lobbyist-legislator team, lobbyists outnumber legislators 7 to 1. If the defined-benefits scheme predictably breaks the bank, the flow of money to the other 420 special-interest groups who pay for the lobbyists will be disrupted. It may stop altogether. For obvious reasons, that can’t be allowed to happen.
One of the obvious reasons is that it may be impossible to tax the remaining post-Exodus, non-protected Alaskans enough to pay for the scheme plus everything else the other 420 special-interest groups want. What happens then?
Thanks again, Alex. What say you?
The first five or a little more years of a State Trooper’s career can be tough duty. The finish the Academy and then have field training in an “urban” area as that has meaning in Alaska; there is a comprehensive list in the labor agreement. Then until they reach five years of seniority they are subject to forced transfer to wherever the Department want to send them. Theoretically, they can’t be forced to stay in a remote location past their fifth anniversary, but there has to be an opening and they have to bid out, so they may be stuck in the rural area for awhile.
I’ve dealt with lots of grievances from Troopers in off-road system posts who wanted out at any cost. Back in the Hammond/Sheffield days the rural communities that really hated State goverment and the Troopers pretty much chased them out of their communities; hence the legal fiction of law enforcement in the form of the VPSO, a local patronage hire. Nevertheless, there are still lots of Troopers in rural and off-road commmunities; some love it, some too much, and most hate it. I worked in rural Alaska a lot in the ’80s; I didn’t look for opportunities to spend the night anywhere beyond the regional hubs and not much even there. Lots of those guys shuffled out to rural post and can’t get out until they’re past 5 years. Well, when they’re past five years, they’re vested and there is an easy way to get out; you just quit, take the money and leave.
I bet you could lay off half the state employees in Juneau and it wouldn’t matter. Go to Sandy beach on a sunny day and see all the people “working from home”.
A missing piece from these arguments is that public employees in Alaska don’t have the option of paying into or receiving Social Security. In fact, they and their spouses get penalized at retirement if they ever have paid into it. So even if the current retirement system in Alaska is more similar to private sector 401k plans, it is still not as good a deal as someone will get in another place. Until Alaska becomes more competitive, we will keep bleeding public sector employees.
It’s the same deal you’d get anywhere except the State’s contribution to your defined contribution plan is significantly more than you’d get anywhere other than the executive suites of a large corporation. I’m a Tier 1 PERS Retiree and I also have some SS entitlement from private sector work in my younger days, some SS time when ASD was still in SS and some SS earnings since I’ve retired.
My PERS earnings causes the SSA to adjust my SS downward so that SS pays for my Medicare and that is about it. My wife is a “child bride” of the State and never paid into SS until after she retired and took work elsewhere. She now has 40 quarters at pretty substantial earnings, but she’ll never see any of it. When she turns 65 they might leave her enough to pay for her mandatory Medicare. The rest of the money she paid into SS will go to some illegal alien that never paid in at all, but who was made eligible for communist, excuse me, Democrat political purposes.
State workers do not pay into social security, instead, the state and the employee both put 6.13% every paycheck into an annuity (think 401). Any other jobs they have worked keeps their social security intact and this annuity is the employees money. This 12.26% is sorta the equivalent of social security and will get taxed when the retiree takes distributions. The money is in the hands of the retiree 60 days after leaving state service.
The proposed defined benefit plan won’t have all the bells and whistles of the previous plan. It will have few medical benefits that will most likely be a carry over from the last plan.
“Sen. Jesse Kiehl: You’ve heard members talking about savings. This will be cheaper than legacy plans and DC. It’ll serve AKans and better value for AKans who pay local taxes for their local gov’t. This bill has significant safeguards and significant shared risk. Put together, this eliminates the risks of the older systems. And we’ll be more competitive for teachers, Troopers, biologists, for plow drivers. There’s nothing gold-plated in this bill, but it makes us competitive.”
I have a feeling this plan will be a band aid approach at best and won’t go far enough to attract qualified candidates given the head winds of a shrinking labor pool.
It’s likely the retention problem is not actually caused by the lack of a DB retirement plan. In my experience, the younger generations will not stick around even if there is a threat of losing out on some mythical retirement benefit.
Adjusting the hiring methods, qualifications, and work environment may have the greatest impact on longevity. Hiring people raised in Alaska with firm connections (ie family, community involvement, etc.) who have a clear intent to stay in Alaska indefinitely would help.
If the DB plan resurrection is the only option, perhaps it should come with a minimum 10-year vesting period. If you leave before then, you get nothing. I bet if they offered that type of DB plan and a comparable DC plan, most people today would opt for the DC plan.
Today’s workforce likes the portability of the DC (401k type) plan that the state offers now. Unlike dad and grandpa, they don’t expect (or want) to stay in the same career for 20-30 years. What motivated dad and grandpa to stick it out, will not work today. After all, we only have a few years left before climate change kills us all… 😉
The reason defined benefit went to defined contribution is because the system is billions in debt. It makes absolutely no sense to go back.
The reason defined benefit went to defined contribution is because the system is billions in debt. It makes absolutely no sense to go back.
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