Treasurer says Missouri pension crisis ‘at our doorstep’

Missouri’s public employee pension system faces a “crisis,” with the state on the hook for benefits costing at least $4 billion more than what it’s prepared to fund.

That’s according to state Treasurer Eric Schmitt, who presented takeaways from an annual report on the Missouri State Employees Retirement System, or MOSERS, to a panel of lawmakers on Wednesday.

“This crisis is no longer on the horizon; it is at our doorstep,” Schmitt told the Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement. “The future of Missouri’s finances are at stake and this is a conversation we need to have.”

Schmitt also presented the findings of his office’s own analysis, which shows MOSERS pays some of the highest investment fees in the country while its investment returns fall short of expectations.

Because of MOSERS’ unrealistically high projections on investment returns, the Legislature has appropriated less money than it should be appropriating, Schmitt said. Each year, the Legislature appropriates money for the pension system by setting what is known as a contribution rate.

A representative with MOSERS could not immediately be reached for comment.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missourinet

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