Business and Economy
4:00 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Companies With Pension Benefits Grapple With Cost Of Longer Lives

General Motors is among the companies still offering pensions, but its pension plan is facing a growing shortfall as retired employees live longer. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:38 pm

The Society of Actuaries recently estimated that the average 65-year-old woman will live to 88.8, up from 86.4, the estimate from 2000. The average 65-year-old man today will live to 86.6, up from 84.6.

These increases won’t impact many U.S. companies that shifted their retirement plans to funds like 401(k)s, but for companies that still offer pensions, longer lives for retirees could hurt the bottom line, to the tune of billions of dollars.

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State Capitol
5:02 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Gov. Mary Fallin Signs Pension Overhaul Bill

American Advisors Group Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation that ends the traditional pension retirement system for newly hired state employees in favor of a 401(k)-style retirement plan.

Fallin signed the measure into law on Friday. The bill moves future state employees from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan similar to private sector plans.

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Pension Overhaul
9:28 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Senate Sends Pension Switch To Governor Fallin's Desk

Credit KGOU photo

The Oklahoma Senate has given final approval to a bill that would end the traditional pension retirement system for newly hired state workers in favor of a 401(k)-style retirement plan.

The Senate voted 35-11 Wednesday for the bill over the objection of Democrats who argued it could force state workers to retire into poverty. The bill now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin, who is expected to sign it.

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State Capitol
10:31 am
Wed May 21, 2014

House Passes Overhaul Of Oklahoma's Pension System

State Rep. Randy McDaniel (R-Edmond)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

The Oklahoma House approved legislation Tuesday that eliminates traditional pension benefits for newly hired state workers and replaces it with a 401(k)-style retirement plan.

The measure creates a defined contribution retirement system for state workers after November 2015. Workers hired prior to that time will keep their current defined benefit pension plan.

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State Capitol
11:37 am
Sun March 30, 2014

At Legislative Midpoint, Negotiations To Begin On Oklahoma Budget, Policy

House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma's governor and Republican legislative leaders agree in principle on cutting taxes, a multi-million dollar overhaul of the Capitol and revamping the pension system for state workers, but each side has different ideas on the specifics.

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Oklahoma House Approves Plan
4:26 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Publically Funded Pension Obligations Will Be Covered

Credit katsrcool /

A plan to require the Legislature to cover the state's publicly funded pension obligations each year has been approved by the Oklahoma House.

The House voted 69-24 on Thursday for the bill to require the Legislature to meet the actuarially required contribution, or ARC, amount each year. The requirement wouldn't apply if the total amount exceeded 15 percent of the overall state budget.

House author Rep. Randy McDaniel says because the Legislature historically didn't meet the ARC, the systems have grown to have an unfunded liability of nearly $12 billion.

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Teachers And Firefighters Effective Lobbyists
5:09 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Groups Form Coalition To Fight Pension Changes

Credit Katsrcool / Flickr Creative Commons

Groups representing teachers, firefighters and prison workers have formed a coalition to fight a plan by the Legislature to make changes to Oklahoma's public retirement systems.

Members of "Keep Oklahoma's Promises" met Wednesday at the Capitol following a joint meeting of a House and Senate committee that is looking to shift newly hired state workers from a traditional defined benefit pension plan to more of a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.

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State Capitol
8:40 am
Tue October 29, 2013

State Capitol Hearing Again Considering Oklahoma Public Pension Overhaul

State Rep. Randy McDaniel (R-Oklahoma City)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

A House member who is working to overhaul the state's pension systems is holding another legislative hearing this week to further discuss proposed changes to the retirement plans for various public workers.

Oklahoma City Republican state Rep. Randy McDaniel will convene a meeting Tuesday of the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee to review an analysis of the state's retirement systems.

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Politics and Government
12:49 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Oklahoma Lawmakers Say More Pension Changes Needed

State Rep. Randy McDaniel (R-Edmond)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

Changes to Oklahoma's public pension systems in recent years have reduced their unfunded liability, but a state lawmaker says more changes are needed to assure their long-term financial health.

State Rep. Randy McDaniel of Edmond said Thursday the $11.6 billion unfunded liability of the state's pension systems poses a major financial challenge to state government. McDaniel says lawmakers must do more to secure retirement pensions for public employees because people are living longer and more people are receiving benefits.

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State Capitol
11:31 am
Mon June 10, 2013

No More Pension? State Employee Retirement Targeted For Change

Credit Tax Credits / Flickr (Creative Commons)

With an unfunded liability among Oklahoma's seven major pension systems exceeding $11 billion, several Republican leaders have said changing from a traditional pension to a 401(k)-style retirement account for new state workers will be a top priority during the 2014 legislative session.

The unfunded liability is the amount owed to pensioners beyond what the system currently afford to pay. It has become a growing concern for Gov. Mary Fallin and other state leaders, who say it hinders the state's effort to improve its bond rating.

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