Mayor Jones Establishes Commission on Pension Liability Assessment

Mayor's Order #2011-2

WHEREAS by the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Richmond I do hereby create a Commission on Pension Liability Assessment; and

WHEREAS there is currently a great deal of focus nationally, and within Virginia, on the pension liabilities of major public pension funds; and

WHEREAS it is paramount that the City of Richmond keep its promises to its employees in regard to their pension benefits; and

WHEREAS pension liabilities represent a significant potential liability to the City and its taxpayers, with the City contributing over $40 million per year into our retirement system – a number that will exceed $45 million by FY 2012-13; and

WHEREAS the Commission is hereby established to give my Administration and City Council advice on ways to improve and capitalize on our retirement system’s assets and challenges; and

I, Dwight C. Jones, Mayor of the City of Richmond, do hereby set forth to develop a Commission on Pension Liability Assessment, and do hereby order that:

The Pension Liability Assessment Commission will:

1. Advise the Mayor and Council on the long term nature of the pension liabilities that the Richmond Retirement System places on the City with an acute eye toward ensuring that the pension obligations to our employees and retirees is being met,

2. Provide data that assists in placing the pension liability of the City of Richmond in the proper context for policy and financial decision making,

3. Examine potential strategies and techniques for addressing pension liabilities of the City,

4. Survey “best practices” among top tier cities with regard to how they are addressing pension liabilities,

5. Review strategies for reducing future liabilities in the context of the existing benefits structure, and

6. Advise on any potential alternative strategies (including joining the Virginia Retirement System) for providing pension benefits to Richmond’s public employees so that the City can enhance its ability to attract and retain a highly qualified workforce.

In witness whereof, I have hereto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Richmond to be affixed.

Done at the City of Richmond, this fourteenth day of March, two thousand and eleven.