Pensions/Employee Benefits & Actions

 

Expenditures for employee retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits, comprise a relatively small portion of total state spending. However, as public employee demographics shift and greater segments of the public sector workforce approach retirement, many states are reexamining the financial costs of promised benefits. Gradual policy and fiscal reforms are being implemented across states to reduce the future budgetary impacts of pensions without drastically undermining the retirement security of present employees or retirees.

Staff Contact: Michael Streepey

NASBO Publications

  • State fiscal conditions are modestly improving in fiscal 2014 with spending and revenues projected to rise above fiscal 2013 levels. Signs of fiscal distress continue to subside, and most states expect revenue and spending growth in fiscal 2014. Tax collections outperformed projections in fiscal 2013, and revenues experienced steady gains in most states. Although revenues are expected to increase in fiscal 2014, states are not projecting a rise in tax collections comparable to the gains in fiscal 2013.
  • The latest edition of NASBO’s State Expenditure Report finds that for the first time in the history of the State Expenditure Report total state spending declined in fiscal 2012, due to the combination of state funds slowly increasing and federal funds rapidly declining. It is estimated that expenditures returned to more typical growth levels in fiscal 2013 as both state and federal funds moderately increased.
  • After several years of slow recovery in the national economy, fiscal distress is finally beginning to subside for most states. However, the unemployment rate continues to remain high and the economic recovery is relatively weak compared to other post-recessionary periods. Thus, state operating budgets likely will be constrained by elevated expenditure pressures and slow revenue growth in the upcoming fiscal year.