The Looming Pension Crisis in Missouri: Costs, Risks, and Pay - Columbia

The Looming Pension Crisis
Event Details: 

On Thursday, November 8, the Show-Me Institute will host a discussion on pension reform with Dr. Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute and Deputy Treasurer Chris Wray of the Missouri Treasurer's office moderated by Dr. Michael Podgursky of the University of Missouri Department of Economics.

Title of Discussion: “Public Sector Pensions in Missouri: Costs, Risks, and Pay.”

The Missouri State Employees Retirement System (MOSERS) has seen its funding health decline in recent years even as the required government contributions to the plan have increased. Policymakers are searching for ways to reform public employee pensions to control costs and mitigate risks to government budgets while at the same time maintaining retirement programs that serve retirees.

The discussion will address how the costs for the program are rising; how increasingly risky investments can throw the budget out of whack; and what accurately accounting for pension costs tells us about public employee compensation.

Speaker Biographies:

Andrew G. Biggs is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies Social Security reform, state and local government pensions, and public sector pay and benefits. Before joining AEI, Biggs was the principal deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), where he oversaw SSA’s policy research efforts. He has published widely in academic publications as well as in daily newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He has also testified before Congress on numerous occasions. In 2014, Institutional Investor magazine named him one of the 40 most influential people in the retirement world. In 2016, he was appointed by President Obama to be a member of the financial control board overseeing reforms to Puerto Rico’s budget and the restructuring of the island’s debts. Biggs holds a bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the University of London, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

Chris Wray currently serves as the Deputy State Treasurer for the State of Missouri. He previously practiced law at Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Kansas City, and before that was a law clerk to the Hon. Duane Benton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Before attending law school at the University of Notre Dame, he practiced public accounting in Kansas City and St. Louis. He has also served on the adjunct accounting faculty of the University of Notre Dame and Avila University.

Michael Podgursky is Chancellor's Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri–Columbia, where he served as department chair from 1995 to 2005, and is a former fellow of the George W. Bush Institute at Southern Methodist University. He has published numerous articles and reports on education policy and teacher labor markets. He serves on advisory boards for various education organizations, and on the editorial boards of several education research journals.  He also serves on the board of the Show-Me Institute.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri–Columbia and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Sponsored By:

Show-Me Institute

Sinquefield Charitable Foundation

University of Missouri-Columbia Department of Economics 

Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business School of Accountancy and Finance Department