Iowa worker retirement fund faces $5.7B shortfall


December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s pension fund for retired public employees is facing a long-term shortfall of nearly $5.7 billion and some officials say they are worried about the sustainability of the fund. The Des Moines Register says a consultant’s report issued Thursday says despite the concerns there are no immediate threats to members’ monthly pension checks. The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System has about 325,000 members.

State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, who serves on the fund’s investment board, says he is concerned about the funds sustainability and that the amount owed by taxpayers continues to grow. But Brad Hudson, a lobbyist for the Iowa State Education Association, says changes made by lawmakers last year are a step in the right direction. The changes include increased contributions combined with future benefit reductions.