Public employee pension plan can proceed with blessing of lawmakers

    A plan to reduce Alaska's public employee pension obligation using borrowed money may proceed without legislative approval.

    The Alaska Dispatch reports that Revenue Commissioner Randy Hoffeck notified lawmakers last week that the administration could raise up to 3-point-2 billion dollars through pension obligation bonds.

    Governor Walker floated a similar idea late last year, asking the legislature to put the bonds on the ballot.   The new approach could be done directly, with bonds issued by a state corporation.

    The pension obligation bond corporation is scheduled to meet next week to consider whether to issue the bonds.

    Hoffbeck says borrowing at interest rates below what the state can earn on investments would cost less than paying for pensions in the long run -- as long as the market is growing.

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