Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski signed a bill to create a new defined contribution plan for public workers hired after July 1, 2006.
"We think this change will stop the so-called bleeding, so we can slow down the state's increasing liability," the governor said at a press briefing. The state's unfunded pension liability had grown to $5.7 billion from $4 billion in February 2002, when Mr. Murkowski become governor. The existing $8 billion Public Employees' Retirement Board and the $3.8 billion Teachers Retirement Board, both in Juneau, were frozen under the new law. Both will be merged into the Alaska State Pension Investment Board.
The governor said in a press release that his office is working with the Alaska Legislature on addressing the unfunded liability. "Our priority in the next session is to help the Legislature craft a realistic and effective solution to the unfunded pension liability we inherited," he said. Further details were unavailable, said Becky Hultberg, the governor's press secretary.