Lawmakers Hear Public Pensions aren’t Dying

February 14, 2011 ( –Keith Brainard, Research Director of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA), told the U.S. House of Representative’s Judiciary Committee that state and local government pensions are weathering the financial crisis.

Brainerd testified that the public funds are making measured changes to ensure long-term sustainability, and do not require federal assistance Brainard charged that many public pension critics lack sound knowledge and understanding of how public pensions work, or rely on methods and assumptions that are “inappropriate and inapplicable” to the way these plans operate.

Brainard, who was appearing before the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law, expressed particular concern with research conducted by certain academics, according to a news release from the National Council on Teacher Retirement 

Pension funds hold $2.8 trillion in trust from which they pay benefits, which is roughly 14 times the amount they distributed in benefits last year, according to Brainard. “The assertion that public employee pensions are contributing in a meaningful way to state insolvency is simply not supported by the facts,” Brainard pointed out.

Brainard’s prepared remarks are at while more information about the subcommittee hearing is at .