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KDLG - New Legislation Addresses Unfunded Pensions

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By Chase Cavanaugh

Pension funding was the subject of a recent bill signing in Juneau. KDLG's Chase Cavanaugh has more.

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell was in Juneau Monday to sign legislation relating to the Alaska pension system. According to him, House Bill 385 would help deal with the state's sizable unfunded pension liability.

"It takes three billion dollars out of our budget reserves and moves it to the pension trust funds, two billion going to the teacher's retirement system, one billion going to the public employees' retirement system, and it drops our annual payments on that unfunded pension liability. We have almost 12 billion dollars in an unfunded pension liability that's owed. We're taking 3 billion, paying down that debt effectively, and lowering our annual payment from year to year."

Parnell says apart from addressing a significant lack of funding, the legislation is good for the state's financial well-being.

"We have not resolved it for ever and ever, but we have taken a significant step toward improving that unfunded pension liability, the ratio that the financial institutions take a look at us with, and we have taken a lot of this debt, a lot of this burden, off future generations of Alaskans."

With the governor's signature, HB 385 is now law.

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