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Pension fund gets some love from analysts

Monday, February 28th, 2011 by John Kennedy

The state’s pension fund has consistently met its investment goals – fairly average compared to other states– but also is “financially sound,”  a report released Monday shows.

The state’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) gave the $114 billion Florida Retirement System generally satisfactory marks in its review of the fund, which covers almost 1 million government workers and retirees. 

 The pension fund is a big target for lawmakers this spring, with Gov. Rick Scott proposing that employees contribute 5 percent of their paychecks to help finance their retirement benefits — saving the state $1.3 billion.

 The money could help lawmakers patch a budget shortfall of at least $3.6 billion. But it also could help Scott make good on his campaign promise to reduce property taxes by $1.4 billion, something the GOP governor says he’ll do over the next two years.

As part of his push for changing the fund, Scott warns that the pension fund is on shaky financial footing.

 OPPAGA disputes that. Anaysts acknowledge  the FRS has a so-called funding ratio of 87.9 percent and currently does not have ”sufficient assets to pay current and future expected benefits for participants and their beneficiaries.”

But, OPPAGA points out, “experts generally consider public pension plans with funding ratios at or above 80 percent to be fiscally sound.”  


Scott slams Sink with new ads

Monday, September 27th, 2010 by Dara Kam

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott’s campaign released two new ads attacking his Democrat opponent Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink accusing her of steering no-bid contracts to her former employer and slamming her for poor oversight of the state’s pension fund.

Sink spent more than two decades as a banker and ended her career as the head of Bank of America’s Florida operations.

One of the ads accuses Sink of steering at least $770,000 to Bank of America and its subsidiaries in her role as a member of the board of trustees that oversees the State Board of Administration. Sink sits on the board with fellow Cabinet members Attorney General Bill McCollum and Gov. Charlie Crist.

Sink has said she did not declare a conflict of interest in voting on matters affecting her former employer because her investments are in a blind trust.


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