Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Does Jackson have a $60 million problem?

A 2010 PERS report on Jackson's Municipal Retirement Account states it has an unfunded liability of $60 million. Municipalities maintained their own pension plans for police and firemen prior to the creation of PERS. PERS Executive Director Pat Robertson said PERS took over the management of these defined-benefit plans in 1987 since most plans were severely, as well as chronically, underfunded. Although 17 cities still maintain these accounts, PERS is not responsible for any shortfalls in the accounts. Any unfunded liabilities must be covered by the municipality, as they are funded by the municipality, not PERS. The municipal retirement accounts were closed to new employees in 1976. Employees hired after 1976 enroll in the state retirement system.

Jackson Jambalaya obtained through public records requests ,the actuarial reports for 2010, 2004, and 1997. The 2010 report states Jackson has an unfunded liability of $60,430,225. The unfunded liability grew from $54,029,943 in 2009. The plan has 665 active retirees, assets of $70,753,803, a liability of $131,195,121, and is 54% funded.

Jackson paid $13,195,121 in benefits and a monthly benefit of $2,543. A member is paid 50% of his average compensation and an additional 1.7% of average compensation for each year of service over twenty years (the maximum level is 66%.).

Jackson faced a similar problem in the mid 1990s. Jackson's plan was below a funding level of 50% from 1991 (38%) to 1996 (46%). The unfunded actuarial liability was $73,861,000 in 1996 and after reaching $80,568,000 in 1994. Jackson issued $50 million in retirement bonds (actually $49.8 million) that were paid off in 2009. The interest cost was $23 million of the bonds. The average interest rate paid on the bonds was 6.3% (not a weighted average) and the average annual principal payment was $4.1 million. The proceeds gained from the sale of the bonds paid the unfunded liability down to $15.8 million in 1997 and improved the funding level to 88%. The plan had a surplus of $6.2 million in 2002 and was funded at 104%. Unfortunately, the funding level has declined since 2004:

1998: 90%
1999: 98%
2000: 102%
2001: 104%
2002: 94%
2003: 88%
2004: 83%
2005: 76%
2006: 73%
2007: 72%
2008: 70%
2009: 59%
2010: 54%

Jackson dedicates 5.75 mills (slightly over $1 million per mill) to funding the plan. The funds generated by the property taxes were used to retire the bonds. Thus Jackson only contributed $280,482, 7.9% of the PERS-required contribution of $3,563,516. However, Jackson paid more than the required amount in 2010: $5,735,113 while PERS required $5,005,779 - a payment of 114%. Jackson is scheduled to end contributions in 2020 as it projects the system to be fully funded as it winds down to zero beneficiaries.

Some facts from the reports:

Assets: $120.4 million
Liabilities: $137.5 million
Unfunded liability: $17.1 million
Average monthly benefit: $2,034

Assets: $119.7 million
Liabilities: $144.6 million
Unfunded liability: $24.8 million
Average monthly benefit: $2,543

Assets: $79.1 million
Liabilities: $133.2 million
Unfunded liability: $54.0 million

Assets: $70.8 million
Liabilities: $131.2 million
Unfunded liability: $60.4 million

Note: Efforts to contact representatives from the city of Jackson as well as the council were not successful.

2010 PERS report on Municipal Retirement Accounts
2010 PERS report on Jackson's Municipal Retirement Account
2009 PERS report on Municipal Retirement Accounts
2004 PERS report on Municipal Retirement Accounts
1997 PERS report on Jackson's Municipal Retirement Accounts
1997 Jackson Special Obligation Bonds


Anonymous said...

i propose a consultant to perform a study.

Anonymous said...

How about the guy that the county hired to do the redistricting?

Anonymous said...

only if he's a minority playa; or what about the weather siren guy?

C. Bell said...

Sixty million ain't as much as it used to be.

Anonymous said...

I do not see a problem; city has to legally pay what is owed to retirees ; so just raise taxes.

Anonymous said...

and I propose a committee to name a bridge to honor the consultant who is hired to do the study.

Jacktown. You gotta love (hate) it....

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS