FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2010
For More Information Contact: Ray Edmondson, Jr., CEO 800-842-4064
FPPTA Launches Public Service Project
Tallahassee --- The FPPTA recently has launched a new public service project, the Faces of Florida…real people, real stories campaign that is designed to educate public officials, lawmakers and taxpayers about the critical importance of maintaining defined benefit public pension plans for public employees. A “Learn the Facts” public service announcement has been produced as part of the campaign and can be viewed on the Faces of Florida screen on the organization’s web site (www.fppta.org).
The campaign was initiated in response to the growing public perception that taxpayers cannot afford retirement benefits for public employees, many of whom serve in first responder and public safety positions. Among the most common misunderstandings about public pension plans is the assumption that replacing them with 401(k) accounts will be less expensive for taxpayers. In fact, a traditional guaranteed benefit pension plan can be as much as 40 percent less expensive to operate. Moreover, a 401(k) style account would not provide employees with the disability or survivor benefits that are critical to public safety workers. Municipalities would have to purchase those benefits separately at significant expense to taxpayers.
Of particular concern to the FPPTA is the demonization of public employees who are commonly maligned in public discussions about pension plan economics. They too often are portrayed as a faceless over-indulged collective, receiving lavish retirements at the expense of taxpayers. The Faces of Florida project will reinforce the fact that public employees are people who serve in vital capacities to ensure the safety and comfort of taxpayers, and that their service too often comes at a price much higher than the cost of their benefits. - more -
FPPTA Public Service Announcement Page 2 of 2
The Faces of Florida project will present the real life stories of Floridaâ€™s public servants, highlighting their professional skills, their personal experiences, and the reasons they pursued public sector careers. Their real stories will include the many instances when their commitment or initiative has surpassed required performance and has positively impacted the public, whether providing police and fire services, emergency response, or the daily demands of power, water, sewer, and road services.
The campaign also is designed to keep policy makers aware of the FPPTA as an information resource for public pension trustees, municipal leaders and financial managers regarding the operation and management of (guaranteed) defined benefit pension plans.
The Florida Public Pension Trustees Association is a non-profit organization that was established in 1984 and provides educational and support services to pension boards throughout the state. More than 225 of the stateâ€™s 488 pension boards are FPPTA members. Programs include local continuing education courses, a trustee certification program, seminars and the annual professional development conference for members statewide.