Federal legislation introduced Thursday would require state, county and municipal pension plans for the first time to start filing annual financial reports at the U.S. Treasury Department.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., would require reports that would include a fund’s total assets, liabilities and funding status — along with a disclosure of the actuarial assumptions used by the fund.
The bill, the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act, would also include a “clear federal prohibition on any future public pension bailouts by the federal government,” according to a news release issued by Mr. Nunes’ office.
The bill has the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, according to a separate news release issued by the chamber.
“The unfunded liabilities of state and local government pension plans have reached crisis proportions with no solution in sight,” Randel K. Johnson, the chamber’s senior vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits, said in the chamber’s news release. “This legislation will at least require that we have an accurate accounting of the degree of underfunding so that meaningful solutions can be explored, whether at the state or local levels.”
The legislation is opposed by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, according to Keith Brainard, the organization’s research director.
“NASRA has had a long-standing resolution opposing federal intervention in areas that belong to the states,” Mr. Brainard said, in an interview.
Andrew House, a spokesman for Mr. Nunes, said the legislation will be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and will be reintroduced when Congress convenes next year. Mr. House said the bill was introduced Thursday to provide an opportunity for a review of the provisions before it is reintroduced. Mr. Nunes is a member of the committee.