Morning Must Reads: Young Workers in the Great Recession, Gov. Targets Disabled and Pension Returns

The Philadelphia Inquirer has begun a series of reports on the impact of the Great Recession on young workers.  Here is a description of the series followed by a link to the first story in the series. Worth a read.


Young people are bearing the brunt of the Great Recession and the changes in the American economy. In “Struggling for Work: Broken Dreams of a New Generation,” The Inquirer goes behind the unemployment rates and high college debt to describe the struggles young people are facing and detail what needs changing to help them. To create this series, reporters interviewed more than 280 people — including millennials and their parents — and analyzed government data. Among those interviewed were economists, sociologists, and historians. Groups that specialize in work issues were consulted, including: the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, the MacArthur Foundation’s Network on Transition to Adulthood, the Community College Research Center at Columbia University, and the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University.

Governor Corbett's war with Pennsylvanians with disabilities heats up.

The New York Times has a story on public pension funds which focuses on the investment decisions of Pennsylvania's public pension plan.

Consider the contrast between the state retirement fund for Pennsylvania and the one for Georgia.

The $26.3 billion Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System has more than 46 percent of its assets in riskier alternatives, including nearly 400 private equity, venture capital and real estate funds.

The system paid about $1.35 billion in management fees in the last five years and reported a five-year annualized return of 3.6 percent. That is below the 8 percent target needed to meet its financing requirements, and it also lags behind a 4.9 percent median return among public pension systems.

In Georgia, the $14.4 billion municipal retirement system, which is prohibited by state law from investing in alternative investments, has earned 5.3 percent annually over the same time frame and paid about $54 million total in fees. The two funds represent the extremes, with Pennsylvania in a group of pension systems with some of the highest percentages of investments in alternatives and Georgia in a group of 10 with some of the lowest, according to groupings of funds identified by the London-based research firm Preqin.


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