By: Mark Glennon*
“Rukaiyah Adams, the normally polished investment professional who is vice chair of the Oregon Investment Council, broke down in tears last week as she spoke of passing a record $22 billion in unfunded promises to future taxpayers.”
The full story on that is linked here. Notice the candor of the discussion: “Experts openly acknowledged they’re understating the magnitude of Oregon’s problem. They’re relying on optimistic assumptions about investment returns. And they’re holding down required pension payments below what’s needed to keep pace with the debt.” The facts sound familiar, but the acknowledgement?
“We’re beyond crisis,” Katy Durant, chair of the Oregon Investment Council, said in an interview after last week’s meeting. “We should have been addressing this 20 years ago and it’s just been building.”
But consider their situation compared to Illinois,’ adjusted for population. Our unfunded pension debt is $77,800 per household. Oregon’s is 45,800. In other words, Oregon’s is about 58% of ours. That’s according to Pension Tracker, the new database maintained by a group from Stanford University, using a market basis.
Ms. Adams’ tears would have been depleted years ago if she was in Illinois.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.