The State or Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) is in a big financial hurt. In February 2017 it had $22 BILLION in unfunded liabilities, owing more money to former employees than they have in the bank.
In April this year, the New York Times did a story on Oregon’s PERS calling it a “severe, self-inflicted crisis.”
Read the whole New York Times story here as they describe how a former university president draws $76,111 per month, a former football coach draws more than $46,000 per month, and that more than 2,000 employees will soon draw a monthly pension in excess of $100,000 per month.
As a result of the financial crisis of PERS, many essential government services are “slashed.”
So who better to manage this whopping financial crisis? A former CFO and accountant who has a background in pension management information technology.
Last Thursday, the governor announced she chose Sadhana Shenoy to lead the PERS board as “she’s extremely bright” and has “great technical expertise.”
Shenoy will need to be confirmed by the state senate.
According to Oregon Live: “…Shenoy lacks any direct experience in pension management or administration. That’s experience that governor’s office originally said it was looking for in a new board chair, and background that could come in handy at a time when the administrative complexity and political profile of the system are rising.
Shenoy said, “I have the technical skills and background to lead a board oversee (sic) the management of PERS Funds with responsibility, acumen and foresight. These skills include a sound background in Finance, Accounting and Mathematics and working proficiency in modeling tools and techniques.”
One interesting item that Oregon Live reports: “With Thomas’ resignation and Shenoy’s confirmation by the Senate, it (the PERS Board) would be made up entirely of Portland-area Democrats – one a union leader and two others, including Shenoy, who are donors to Brown’s campaign.”
The PERS Board is supposedly a “bipartisan” entity. Well, as much as it can be in progressive Oregon.
Read the whole Oregon Live story here.
While I understand that donors are typically rewarded with posts, is it too much to ask that taxpayer pension dollars be managed by people who have actual experience with pension management?
Most of the people commenting on the Oregon Live article are not pleased with the Governor’s choice. Elections have consequences.
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