Lawmakers discuss underfunded public pensions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s public employee pension funds face billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities and it’s likely lawmakers will try to address the problem in next year’s legislative session.

The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1gHZKR3 ) a 10-member legislative pension committee heard experts talk Wednesday about the impact of maintaining a police and firefighters pension fund used by 49 larger Iowa cities.

Gretchen Tegeler, executive director of the Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa, says Des Moines has seen reduced library hours and higher property taxes and Urbandale has had tax increases for three consecutive years.

Democratic Sen. Tom Courtney, the pension committee chairman, says he expects a bill to be introduced next year to make pension funding changes but details aren’t yet decided.

Republican Rep. Dawn Pettingill says lawmakers should avoid knee-jerk reactions.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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