The Edmond Sun

Local News

June 14, 2013

State treasurer advocates for more pension reform

EDMOND — Speaking in favor of state pension reform will be state Treasurer Ken Miller’s No. 1 priority next legislative session, he said. Miller said that he and Gov. Mary Fallin have teamed up in urging lawmakers to take new hirees to a 401(k)-style of benefit instead of using the current defined pension system.

“We don’t want to change the retirement system for anyone who is currently on the rolls; anyone who is a current retiree or anyone who is currently hired,” Miller told The Edmond Sun.

Miller wants to communicate to credit rating agencies that Oklahoma is responsible in taking care of its debt. Pension debt remains the state’s greatest obstacle to achieve a AAA credit rating, he said.

Several states have moved away from defined pension systems where leadership was outspoken about the need, Miller said.

“That’s what’s incumbent on me and the governor is to engage the public in the educational process and tell them why it is important,” Miller said. “… The more money that goes to our pensions and our pension debt problems, the fewer dollars are going to go to our core services.”

Meaningful pension reform was not accomplished by state lawmakers this year, Miller said. In May, Miller agreed with Fallin’s veto of House Bill 2077 written by state Rep. Randy McDaniel, R-Edmond, and state Sen. Rick Brinkley, R-Owasso. The measure did not go far enough to resolve unfunded liabilities bogging down the pension system, Miller said.

HB 2077 offered a newly defined contribution plan to be made available to all future state employees that participated in the Oklahoma Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS), McDaniel said. HB 2077 would have created a voluntary option for active members of OPERS to participate in a defined contribution plan.

HB 2077 would have mandated participation from first-time elected officials elected after 2014. These officials only account for .003 percent of the total number of active members in OPERS, according to the governor’s office.

“Based upon the legislative fiscal analysis of HB 2077, there is no measurable impact on the state’s unfunded liabilities due to unknown variables such as the number of individuals that may voluntarily elect to participate, their potential career length and salary of those participants,” Fallin said. “Defined contribution plan offer more cost — certainly to employers — but only if there is meaningful participation rates.”

McDaniel said he looks forward to working with Fallin in support of further pension reforms. He and Brinkley have agreed to a joint interim study on the issue.

“Rep. McDaniel has done a tremendous job with pension (reform),” Miller said. “He has taken a third rail of politics — Social Security at the federal level — and I would say pensions is one of the third rails in state politics. He’s taken that on and done a very good job about educating his caucus about the need for reforms and getting them to do something that previous legislators have not been willing to do. And so I applaud him for that.”

In 2011 McDaniel served as the co-author of House Bill 2132 in the House with then- House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee. Fallin said HB 2132 would reduce unfunded liability in state pensions by $5 billion by eliminating unfunded cost of living adjustments.

“I think anytime you eliminate $5 billion of pension debt, that’s pretty significant,” Miller said. Market returns has since caused pension debt to increase from about $10.5 billion to $11.5 billion, he said.

“We’re now ready for the second round (of reform),” Miller said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 1,000th baby group.jpg INTEGRIS welcomes 1,000th birth since opening in October 2011

    Being the father of a new baby boy is pretty exciting, but being the father of INTEGRIS Health Edmond’s 1,000th baby made it even more special.
    “When we got to the hospital, the night-shift nurse told us we were in a race with another couple who had gotten there at 7 a.m.,” said Bryan Lane, the new baby’s father.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • okco fair 100.jpg Oklahoma County Free Fair offers competition, free fun

    Oklahoma County residents are invited to compete in the 100th annual Oklahoma County Free Fair as they take part in many activities scheduled just for them.
    The county fair will get underway Aug. 21-23 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park and will be highlighted by its open adult and youth along with 4-H and Oklahoma Home and Community Education categories, as well as its special contest and activities.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Great Expectations names 4 Edmond public schools ‘Model Schools’

    Great Expectations, a non-profit foundation that provides intensive professional development to teachers and administrators, announces four Edmond Public Schools have earned the organization’s highest distinction: Model School. Based on Great Expectations theory implementation, there are three categories of recognition, including Transitional School, Progressive School and Model School.

    July 31, 2014

  • Grieving children find support at Calm Waters

    Calm Waters Center for Children and Families offers free support groups for children, ages 3–18 and their families whose lives have been affected by death or divorce.
    Oklahoma continues to rank among the top states in the nation for unintentional and premature deaths, leaving single parents raising children. Additionally, Oklahoma continues to have one of the highest divorce rates per capita in the nation. These tragedies leave children feeling isolated, sad, and uncertain.

    July 31, 2014

  • Church hosts adult Vacation BIble School

    “Jesus is the Source” will be the theme of Edmond First Church of the Nazarene’s second annual adult Vacation BIble School.
    The progam will be from 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 4-7 at the church, located at 3001 S. Boulevard. It will include a light supper at 6 p.m. and songs, games, storytelling and crafts beginning at 6:30 p.m.
    Presenters will include members of the congregation acting as Bible characters and a special performer will be in from Texas.

    July 31, 2014

  • officers killed 1.jpg 67 cops die on duty across country

    The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that 67 officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2014 — a 31 percent increase from the same period last year.
    Of these 67 officers, 26 were killed in traffic-related incidents, 25 were killed by gunfire and 16 died due to job-related illnesses and other causes. California led all states with eight officer fatalities followed by Florida, New York, Texas and Virginia each with four peace officer fatalities.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lankford, James 2011.jpg Lankford, rest of Oklahoma delegation vote to sue president

    A Democratic leader said the House does not have standing to sue the president after members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted to do just that.
    At 6:28 p.m. Wednesday, members of the House approved by a 225-201 partisan margin H. Res. 676, which gives House leadership the authority to file a lawsuit challenging actions by President Barack Obam

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • UCO, local Y create community garden

    A new community garden is providing a transformative learning opportunity for students and helping stock UCO’s Central Pantry.
    The University of Central Oklahoma’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center and the Edmond Rankin YMCA are sponsoring the garden, providing a transformative learning opportunity for students, and organic fruits, vegetables and herbs for the food bank.

    July 31, 2014

  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Poll

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
Undecided
     View Results