Tuesday, March 11, 2008

LASERS Executive Director-Reduce Retirement System Debt

LASERS Executive Director Cindy Rougeou encourages the Louisiana Legislature to make a significant payment on the Unfunded Accrued Liability (UAL), during the Second Special Session of the 2008 Louisiana Legislature in this Letter to the Editor in Saturday’s The Advocate.

The Louisiana Legislature has a historic opportunity to make an investment in its future that will pay dividends for generations to come.

Lawmakers will be asked to make a significant payment on the debt of the state’s largest public retirement systems. This debt is known as the Unfunded Accrued Liability. It is the difference between the projected benefits owed to retirement system members and the money available to pay those benefits.

This year, we are pleased that Gov. Bobby Jindal is proposing to dedicate $70 million of the $1.1 billion state surplus for payments against the retirement systems’ initial UAL. The benefits of making a substantial payment cannot be overstated. For every dollar paid to reduce the initial UAL, Louisiana will save more than $4 in interest payments.

The LASERS Board of Trustees is encouraging lawmakers to take this opportunity to make a meaningful payment toward reducing the retirement system debt. This action will benefit not only the retirement systems and their hardworking public employees, but every Louisiana taxpayer as well. The greater the amount of the appropriation now, the more savings we will all realize down the line.

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