Official Says Iowa’s Largest Public Pension Fund Is “sound”

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of Iowa’s largest public pension system says the trust fund that pays out retirement benefits is “sound,” but at least one GOP lawmaker thinks changes might be needed.

Donna Mueller, chief executive officer for the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as IPERS, says her assessment is based on industry standards. She spoke Tuesday to a handful of lawmakers at the Capitol.

Republican Sen. Charles Schneider of West Des Moines says he’s exploring whether to hold legislative meetings to review IPERS because of long-term unfunded liabilities. He says he’s not suggesting specific changes. Gov. Kim Reynolds has said she supports Schneider’s efforts.

The IPERS trust fund has unfunded liabilities of about $5.6 billion and could increase to about $7 billion in the next several months. But it has assets of about $28 billion, and IPERS officials say they expect the shortfall to be paid off. About 350,000 public employees benefit from the system.

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