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Fixing Montana’s Pension Problem: A Conversation With Richard Dreyfuss on Talk Back


Photo courtesy of *christopher*/Flickr

Richard Dreyfuss is a senior fellow at the Manhattan institute, who specializes in pension and health care issues. He is a frequent contributor to major newspapers and has been called upon to testify at both state legislatures and Congress.

Recently, Dreyfuss wrote an op-ed on Montana’s pension system, in which he argues that Montana needs to move to a defined contribution pension system.

“Absent reform, eventually these plans will be unable to fulfill obligations to retired state and local employees,” writes Dreyfuss, arguing that the time for reform is now.

Right now, the only pension reform bills with Governor Bullocks support happen to be defined benefit plans (rather than defined contribution plans). House Bill 377, which addresses teacher pensions, and House Bill 454, which address public employee pensions, both survived the House and are waiting to be heard in the Senate.

The only defined contribution option was House Bill 338, which failed to pass its third hearing in the house on a 45 – 54 vote.

The odds are very much against a defined contribution plan passing through the legislature this year, nonetheless, if Dreyfuss is right about the flaws of a defined benefit system, the problem will still be around next biennium.

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