State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
Today the state’s award-winning Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released its annual report about the Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB). SWIB's greatest responsibility is the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), the pension fund for Wisconsin’s current and retired state and local employees.
As financial markets experienced their worst decline since the 1930s, the value of both funds fluctuated significantly during the period we reviewed. In 2007, their combined value reached a record high of $87.8 billion. In 2008, each fund experienced its largest one-year loss since the Wisconsin Retirement System was created, and together they lost a total of $23.6 billion.
Both funds rebounded strongly in 2009, when they gained a total of $13.5 billion.
…From the current system’s inception in 1982 through 2009, the Core Fund has returned 10.5 percent.
The good news is that unless the state does something stupid, WRS will never become another Milwaukee Pension scandal.
The bad news is the fund is costing taxpayers more in recent years:
…public employers’ costs to fund pension benefits increased from 10.4 percent of employee salaries in 2009 to 11.0 percent in 2010 and 11.6 percent in 2011, which will be the highest rate since 1996.
A stronger economy would be helpful.
Here is a link to the LAB report highlights.
Here is a link to the full report.