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Resolutions & Amendments

26th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (1984)

Public Pension Plan Reform

Resolution No. 73
26th International Convention
June 18-22, 1984
San Francisco, CA


Public employees, like other members of our society's labor force, have a need for retirement income sufficient to provide economic security in old age or in the case of permanent or temporary disability. Accordingly, AFSCME has worked to ensure retirement benefits which are adequate to maintain an employee's pre-retirement standard of living. At the same time, AFSCME has long been at the forefront of various federal, state and local efforts to correct the major abuses existing in state and local government pension plans; and


Study after study of state and local government pension plans have pointed to a growing number of abuses and deficiencies in operation of such plans. These plans, which number more than 6,000, have combined assets conservatively valued at over $250 billion; and


State and local pension plans face problems which threaten not only their own financial stability and the rights of plan participants and beneficiaries, but also the fiscal integrity of state and local governments as well. The benefit design of many of these plans is ill-conceived, and many are dangerously underfunded. No comprehensive and uniform set of legal principles exists to adequately regulate state and local government plans. Conflict of interest problems are pervasive, and there are little meaningful reporting and disclosure. Those directly affected by public pension decisions are rarely involved in the decision making process. A coherent federal regulatory policy which recognizes the unique problems and characteristics of state and local plans has yet to be established.


That AFSCME recognizes that current regulation of state and local plans is inadequate and that federal legislation must be enacted to provide public employees with long-needed protections against the abuses and deficiencies existing in public pension plans; and


That AFSCME urge Congress to move without delay in enacting a federal reform package which should include mandatory reporting and disclosure of important benefit and financial information, and mandatory compliance with federally mandated fiduciary standards and public sector Internal Revenue Code plan qualification standards.


International Executive Board

Larry W. Kubek, President and Delegate
Ernst E. Marx, Secretary
Local 2105, Council 84
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania