The Louisiana State Employees Retirement System disputed findings of a new national state-by-state pension system review.
LASERS issued a statement “to correct the inaccuracies” in the Pew Center on the States report, which pointed to “serious concerns” over the system’s long-term liabilities.
“Louisiana has made its annual required contributions, and the report’s assertion that it has not, is inaccurate,” according to the LASERS statement.
“The Pew report also fails to recognize significant reforms that Louisiana has made in recent years,” LASERS added. For instance, changes increased the contribution rate for new hires and changed the benefits offered and put restrictions on issuance of cost-of-living adjustments to retiree checks.
The Pew report concludes that states continue to lose ground in covering long-term costs of pensions and retiree health care as the years go by. The report said the gap between promises states have made for public employee benefits and the money available to fund them grew to at least $1.38 trillion in the 2010 fiscal year.
LASERS’ long-term liability is about $6.4 billion of the $18 billion of the four statewide retirement systems. The other three systems are teachers, school employees and State Police.
“In compliance with a 1987 constitutional amendment, the state has consistently made its required contributions” to wipe out a big part of the pension system debt by 2029, the statement said.