N E W    P A G E

Now into its work, at the third meeting (twice a month schedule), sub-committees created.

The opening meeting of this new Commission announced a summer reading list which can be found on this webpage:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/taskforce.asp?TF=20180710_Pension%20Sustainability%20Commission

MEMBERSHIP:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20180710_Pension%20Sustainability%20Commission/membership.pdf

MEETING NOTES

Please note that written presentations by invited guests online

READING LIST AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION

NEWS REPORTS








What;s not been talked about?
HOW MANY MEMBERS GOING OFF THIS COMMISSION ?




December 12, 2018:  Setting up "draft" recommendations - ending up with another "draft" discussion after the new year.
We believe we heard at the end the Chair. thanking Treasurer Nappier for all her work through the years and inviting her participation as the Commission reaches its last steps.

   
OPM CONTRIBUTION - NEED THE DETAILS SOONER?  MATRIX NEEDED FOR HOT TO GET THERE.
Treasurer explains further and elaborates on various aspects of both Lottery idea as well as "LOT" concept modifications.  With comments, including those of Comptroller's rep.


       
ALL ON THE TABLE - DO THEY KNOW THAT FEBRUARY 1, 2019 A.C.I.R. IS HOSTING F.S.E.G. FORMER CO-CHAIRS.?
Of course, the best comments came from Westonite (l).  Teacher's Union rep sort of out of his depth.  Agnostic on real estate moves. 

  
Very thoughtful comments by both.
T.R.S. Attorney made some really excellent suggestions regarding Legislative process.


   
TREASURER.  RETURN ASSUMPTIONS.
Criteria discussion.  Asset criteria.  What can Treasurer do?  If you don't tell the Legislature they can't be without policy discipline.


      
NOT SURE IF HE SAID THIS BUT...
The equivalent of "fish or cut bait."  The C.G.A. seems to like to "fish AND cut bait." No mention of the fact that CT owns R-O-W of the former New Haven Railroad.  AMTRAK apparently has rights to use it.

CHAIR. THANKS RETIRING STATE TREASURER
We believe there will be an extra meeting in January 2019 (T.B.A.) prior to the regular one...with information distributed in time for Commission members to read it.









THIS MEETING IS SETTING UP THE RANGE OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS



Chairman leads discussion of factors in final report to come.
"Opportunities - obstacles - questions" to come.  Setting it down in "writing" for next meeting.




Choquette of D.A.S - "elephant in the room" is assets - not done yet.  Not an "RFP" - commercial real estate.


          

FUTURE PROSPECTS?  TOLLS INCLUDED?  HOW ABOUT LOTTERY?
The framework set, it is now up to the Commission to flesh it out.  Which might prove difficult as all above did not agree on all concepts proposed.








CTNEWSJUNKIE REPORT:  https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20181118_nappier_pitches_solution_to_teachers_retirement_fund/


Treasurer Nappier's presentation much appreciated by Chair. Rep. Steinberg, newly re-elected.




   

2004: 
She told the Legislature they were straining the T.R.S. and there is no way to work your way out.

   
"Assumptions" and rate of return.  8.5% assumption since 2014 for T.R.S. or not. 
1992:  Teachers' Retirement Fund denied benefit of high return because State took $$ earned in highest years to use for something related but not the T.R.S.  Restructured COLAs.  Lost investment opportunities.


   
The pitch to monetize the Lottery.
Segregate the lottery for T.R.S.  How many lawyers and actuaries can fit on the head of a pin?  Treasurer is wise and feels free to point out the obvious now.  July 2025.  Proceeds???


     
Oy Vey - Non-cash transfers?
(L) Treasurer's Att'y points out the obvious - conflict of interest.  Treasurer also calms things down.  Must honor our word.  Plus rating???

    

Questions.and observations and Chair. notes after Thanksgiving event discussion of recommendations will take place.  T.B.A.











Chairman has a cold/soar throat but is on the top of his game, anyway.





   

TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM.  SCENARIO ANALYSIS
"Everything else is noise" - investment returns. 
Prepayment is good because principle gets paid off faster.  You have to have a mid-point assumption - cost model.


       

SUBCOMMITTEES MET.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON STATE LAND DOES A BIG REPORT
Opportunity Zones in towns might profit in a few places.

NOVEMBER 16th next meeting (Treasurer to report) - not the pre-set date .








F.O.I. complaint re:  Sub-Commmittees
Since nobody has met as a subcommittee yet, the staff will be sure to post meetings.



NEW LOTTERY "EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR" (left, below):  In hot water already?

   

SAL LUCIANO JUST APPOINTED (not shown)
STATE LANDS:  Conservation Easements?  Define the problem.  Political point - benefits of non-public control gets rid of patronage?  Prioritize?  Who can help us?


 

HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW INDEED. 
G.A.S.B. 48, 61.  EXPLAINED  "Provocateur" comment - Chairman cannot believe this was such an awesome meeting!  Judge is satisfied.

10am to 12:30pm - next meeting on the 31st.





LOTTERY CAN' T BE THERE TODAY SO COMMISSIONERS DID ROUND TABLE IDEA SESSION




        
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Commission puts forth questions.
State loses control, asks the teachers' union?   Next meeting will be presentations by Treasurer's Office as well as the Lottery re:  Assets available for "Trust" concept.

      
Cede control of assets?   "Our of the box" worth a try!
Lots of questions.  Why they are seeking a consultant. Both lawyers - one for C.E.A. and another for Treasurer, we think.

Can't wait to find out why this "out of the box" thinking cannot translate into a silver bullet for CT!!! 

Or can it, but no one wants to give up anything?









  
VERY INTERESTING MEETING
Chair. Steinberg states that research has reached the next phase.  Subcommittees actively at work and testing out ideas.


     
WE"RE WATCHING THIS AFTER THE FACT - ALTHOUGH WE DID WATCH IT ON TV LIVE...MID-WAY INTO NEXT SPEAKER TO THE END.
Hey, almost no problem.  Market our cities differently.  Differentiate CT cities.  Business by business.  Investment metrics - CT is small but exports a lot. 



 
FAIRNESS OF INCENTIVES - PARTNERING WITH  MUNICIPALITIES
Next speaker talk about direct and indirect impact (my own thought about how many jobs are created by industry (3-1), commercial (2-1) and "government" (1-1) jobs. " Economic multipliers."



NEW IDEA FROM DETROIT EXPERIENCE - WHY WAIT UNTIL BANKRUPT?  BECAUSE STATES CAN'T  DECLARE  BANKRUPTCY?
A lot is an empty place.  But not this meaning of "LOT."  "Working Groups" report in October.  Need to be strategic - no fire sales like Chicago.

  

QUESTIONS AND FINAL COMMENTS - NEXT MEETING OCTOBER 4TH TO INCLUDE LOTTERY.
More than 3 hr. meeting.





SEPTEMBER 7, 2019


PENSION SUSTAINABILITY COMMISSION
SEPT. 7, 2018 MEETING



Infrastructure asset class.  Public-private ownerships.  Concession financing.  Valuation.  (LWVCT in 2011 had Annual Meeting speaker Nicole Gelinas on this subject.  Video of her presentation on video.)

Governance, length, JMO apples and oranges between Chicago and Australia.


 
PRESENTER ON TRANSFER



Into the weeds.  Rating agencies.  Mike Imber presents...
         
CREATE  A TRUST
Legacy Obligation Construct  $15-30k fee.  "White Paper"
Optimization of assets;  current market evaluation:  CONSULTANTS?  Comptroller-Treasurer might be able to help...

CAN'T FORGET G.A.S.B. RATING
Don't sell off assets right away.  How we account for this...two categories - money makers/losers;  undeveloped assets and capturing value.  Some reaction below.


Commission lawyer-members chime in.


STRUCTURE OF COMMISSION SUB-GROUPS DISCUSSED - FOUR SUB-COMMITTEES:


Actuarial
Legal
Capital Assets selection group
Economic Development


NEXT MEETING ON SEPT. 21st...









           
QUESTION:  How broad can recommendations be?  Reestablish credibility.  Most interesting discussion from legislators on the Commission.
AUGUST 17, 2018 meeting - presentation from Fiscal Stability & Economic Growth Chairs., consultants.

O.P.E.B.


Jim Millstein:  Illinois and CT not far behind Puerto Rico.  (From his time surveying all 50 states working for Tim Geithner.)  Washington D.C.  now addressing modifications.
  
"Tsuris" or distress, to be avoided. 
Privatization now a no-no (in CT it is a union issue).  An intergovernmental transfer would avoid this.

IMPACT ON BUDGET?  NEW JERSEY EXAMPLE.  Changing assumptions.  Volatility.  N.J.  effective minimum.  Investment bank estimate.  "Who the hell knows?"


Chair, quotes Mike Imber a lot

NEXT MEETING: 
Sept.5, 6 or 7 - beware Jewish Holidays - generally every two weeks (Wednesdays).





OPENING MEETING:  http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=15473



July 24, 2018 first meeting - Sec'y Barnes' power point.


    
What did one member ask?  ANS:  "YES, BUT..."
"Are the properties listed on your website (the State website) the actual list of State of Connecticut - owned properties?"


\\\  
What are some mechanisms to adjust stuff?  How about data available on assets?
ANS.  You could shift funds within the State Budget to make the books balance (my words here).  Data resources now posted - a page from PEW - we suppose this reflects the timing of investment problem...


  

   

HOW DO YOU SUGGEST THIS WILL ALL END?
  WILL THE LOTTERY FINANCE PUBLIC SECTOR & TEACHER RETIREMENT?
Not joking, Sec'y Barnes describes the act of drowning in debt as we will be witnessing when the "balloon" payment hits or pops.   2025 is a big year.







...Professor Saulnier explained what would happen when the U.S. no longer had enough gold to back the dollar.
(The currency would then "float").  He drew two lines crossing in an "X."   Turning to the large lecture hall he said:  "I don't want to be here when that happens (which it did, in @1971)"


       
We are going through the reading list from top to bottom...
  1. PEW:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20180710_Pension%20Sustainability%20Commission/PEW%20Report.pdf
  2. "ECONOMICS 101":  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20180710_Pension%20Sustainability%20Commission/Brookings%20Institute%20-%20State%20Local%20Pension%20Deficit%20Funding%20Primer.pdf 







NEWS REPORTS:



Norwalk HOUR, 9-11-18:  https://www.thehour.com/news/article/Wilms-calls-for-structural-changes-to-state-13218719.php


CTNEWSJUNKIE "EXTRA EXTRA":


CT MIRROR:  https://ctmirror.org/2018/07/24/panel-seeks-new-ways-slow-skyrocketing-state-pension-costs/