Pension Actuaries Make Quick Return to Capitol

Jan 28, 2013

The state employee retirement reforms Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed last session were overturned in court last week. Monday, a state committee heard testimony about changes to the firefighters' retirement system that could be considered by the legislature this spring.

The law was overturned because of a procedural snafu – the bill required a two-thirds majority to pass because entailed a rise in actuarial cost. Several actuaries testified in the court case, all with differing opinions on the cost. Finally, the judge ruled that according to the constitution, only the legislative actuary’s calculations hold any weight.

Nonetheless, Dr. Brian Procopio, who chairs the Joint Committee Funding Review Panel, welcomed an actuary hired by the Firefighter’s Retirement System, joking that “all actuaries are welcome here.”

The firefighter’s actuary, Gary Kern, said he’s not sure if the tweaks suggested to the firefighters’ retirement plan will mean an increase in cost.

“When you start tweaking all of that stuff that impacts the cost as well… boy that just shuffles the deck all over the place. So trying to generalize off this stuff is tough.”