Despite years of underfunding by state and local governments, most public pension plans are "solidly funded and are experiencing a robust recovery from the Great Recession," according to Hank Kim, executive director and counsel of the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS).

Kim, in a written response to the Report of the State Budget Crisis Task Force, said he agreed with the report's verdict that public pensions are playing into the financial woes of many local and state governments. He also agreed that stronger local funding policies and greater disclosure are needed.

"Three, five, 10- and 20-year investment returns are all on the rise—and long-term returns are far more indicative of a plan's health than short-term fluctuations," he said. "Unfortunately, the real American retirement crisis was beyond the Task Force's portfolio – and it needs to take center stage in our national policy debate."

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