To: Ken Ivory, Daniel McCay, John Knotwell, Brian King, Jeremy Peterson, Doug Sagers, Joel Briscoe, Jon Stanard, Michael McKell, Brian Greene, Eric Hutchings, Gage Froerer,
Subject: Response to Rep. Cunningham's latest email about Utah's 2010 pension reforms
Date: Tue Feb 09 04:43:55 MST 2016
Dear Utah House Revenue & Taxation Committee members,

It has come to my attention that Rep. Cunningham has forwarded to all of you a link to a paper entitled  Lessons for Public Pensions from Utah’s Move to Pension Choice.  I am glad he sent it to you and encourage you to read it closely and examine its conclusions.  I was personally very pleased with it; I was less pleased with those who tried to use this paper to knock on Utah’s 2010 pension reforms because they spread as gospel conclusions that the writers of this paper were unwilling to make (the biggest one being that the new pension system increased employee turnover after 2011).  

I can only surmise that Rep. Cunningham sent this to you to try to disparage the pension reforms the legislature passed in 2010 in an effort to blunt my strong opposition to his four Double Dipping bills that will be debated in the House Revenue & Taxation Committee on Wednesday.  This seems odd because the paper does not address the Double Dipping legislation (SB43) we passed that year; it only looked at new hires hired before 2011 and after 2011.  At a minimum before SB43, public employees had to work 20 years before they could post-retire/re-employ (i.e. Double Dip).  It appears to me like Rep. Cunningham is trying to mislead the committee on the merits of his Double Dipping bills, but I will leave that to your judgement.

Here is a link to my August 2015 Deseret News article about the above referenced paper: 

Here also is a link to a Brigham Young University study that says that the reforms I championed and many of you voted for reduced the risk of pension system bankruptcy from 50% to 10% through 2028.  Here is the link (you will have to download the paper):

Here is a link to a Reason Foundation article on Utah’s 2010 pension reforms, referring to the BYU study:

Here is a link to a Wall Street Journal Editorial Board article on Utah’s 2010 pension reforms:

And if you are really up for some reading on pension reform issues and options, here is the link to the report I authored for ALEC on the subject  Keeping the Promise: State Solutions for Government Pension Reform:

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I am happy to talk with any of you at any time.  (801) 815-7600

Best regards,