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Troubled Detroit pension funds send trustees to Waikiki

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:30 p.m. HST, May 17, 2013

DETROIT » Four trustees of Detroit's two reportedly underfunded public pension funds are expected to travel this weekend to a Hawaii resort for a conference, with the $22,000 tab paid for by the funds.

Records obtained by the Detroit Free Press under the Freedom of Information Act show expenses include airfare, lodging at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, registration fees, meals and other miscellaneous costs.

General Retirement System Trustee John Riehl, who plans to attend, says the six-day conference is needed to help trustees do their jobs.

The General Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement System each are sending two trustees.

A report Monday from Detroit's state-appointed emergency manger says they are underfunded by at least $600 million. The pension systems say they're adequately funded.

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ejkorvette wrote:
???????????????????? What's the purpose of the visit?
on May 18,2013 | 01:41AM
niimi wrote:
I'd like to see where the HSTA, UPW, HGEA and other public sector unions in Hawaii send their leaders? I would like to see where the ILWU, Teamsters, Laborers and other private sector unions send their leaders? I'll bet there are a lot of country club memberships, regular lunches at Morton's, The Bankers Club and other nice venues just for a lunch meeting. Aren't you curious?
on May 18,2013 | 07:35AM
CriticalReader wrote:
AWESOME!!!! Let's hope they tip our local workers really, really well. Most of that $22,000 is going to airlines, and hotel owners for rooms. So those revenues won't stay in Hawaii.
on May 18,2013 | 08:48AM
sak wrote:
Don't forget the Hookers on Kuhio Avenue!
on May 18,2013 | 01:09PM
Ewaduffer wrote:
To learn how to properly handle public employee retirement funds from Hawaii experts. ; )
on May 18,2013 | 12:33PM
buttery wrote:
how can anyone "do the job" knowing there is a pristine beach just a few minutes away--- with real sand! on the mainland away from the coast line, for example: Lake of the Ozarks, Great Lakes area, any body of water away from the Oceans that is considered a recreational area is called "the shore".
on May 18,2013 | 04:42AM
postmanx wrote:
Real "imported' sand.
on May 18,2013 | 06:57AM
serious wrote:
Another example of a one party system at work!!!
on May 18,2013 | 04:54AM
localguy wrote:
Misery loves company. Detroit trustees have so much in common with the Nei's $25 billion union shortfall to the unions they wanted to see how we got so far behind, comparing to see which fund has the most dysfunctional support. With around an $800 million shortfall, Detroit trustees had no idea the Nei was so deep in debt, they have to learn how we did it to ensure they do not make the same mistakes. While Detroit is in serious financial trouble, an $800 million shortfall is nothing compared to ours at $25 billion. Perhaps those responsible for our shortfall should be traveling to Detroit to learn how they came in so much better than us. Yes, we are that far behind the mainland, growing every day.
on May 18,2013 | 05:58AM
localguy wrote:
Ref: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120626/METRO01/206260360
on May 18,2013 | 06:01AM
E_Ogawa wrote:
I find it hard to believe that the Hawaii public employees' unfunded pension liability has tripled in less than two years, but the disparity in the numbers you're using should be qualified. First, you need to view the number of covered employees. In one case, we're talking about a city (Detroit) and in the other, a state (Hawaii). The difference in population of covered employees is very large. Second, these are based on actuarial figures, and we all know that Hawaii residents have the longest life span, and Detroit, well, I'm sure it's significantly less. Third, Detroit has a much stronger mechanism of funding its pension liabilities. The taxes from the auto industry versus taxes from tourism. I don't doubt that Hawaii has serious issues, but I'd want to see what the true, apples-to-apples comparison is first before even attempting to make sense of the numbers you're using. And I still have to question the $25 Bn figure. I think we were at $8 Bn unfunded in 2011. A 200% increase in less than two years would certainly be making news, and I have not seen it.
on May 18,2013 | 07:15AM
localguy wrote:
E_Ogawa - Love it when rookie posters try to make a point, not even close. You questioned the $25 billion shortfall to unions I mentioned. Had you done your due diligence, you would have found this information on Hawaii Reporter and Star Advertiser. Here is one link: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/hawaiis-unfunded-liabilities-loom-large/123 Yes, $25 billion and growing thanks to new union pay raises. Sad to say the money to pay this debt off is not there, never will be. Unions do not want to talk about it but should.
on May 18,2013 | 09:27AM
E_Ogawa wrote:
Thanks. That's what I wanted to see. This is insane.
on May 18,2013 | 10:17AM
allie wrote:
on May 18,2013 | 07:55AM
cojef wrote:
Blind leading the blind??
on May 18,2013 | 06:54AM
Slow wrote:
Golly, this is a big story. For some body in Detroit maybe. What, SA, police blotter running low on other big news? Selling of Kailua is an actual news story. An unnamed pedestrian hit in a crosswalk or a house burnt in Aliamanu or actually not news either.
on May 18,2013 | 07:15AM
CriticalReader wrote:
This is good news for Hawaii. It identifies a target market for the Hawaii Tourism industry: Underfunded Government Pension Boards of Trustees. If the Hawaii Tourism Authority can get a list of underfunded government pension systems nationwide, and contact information, it should start sending out promo literature. Maybe a video or two. If these entities are going to squander their resources on travel for the their trustees, where better to have them squander? HERE! IN HAWAII! THANK YOU DETROIT!
on May 18,2013 | 08:59AM
HD36 wrote:
Ironic they're spending money from the public Trust fund. But that's Detroit, ground zero for the economic collapse.
on May 18,2013 | 07:24AM
localgirl2 wrote:
We're in the same sinking boat, no matter where you are...the powers that be screwing the majority who pay through the nose...
on May 18,2013 | 07:34AM
CriticalReader wrote:
The REALLY good thing about this is that the trip is probably already booked. So, the airline, hotel, etc., etc., etc. payments are probably NON-REFUNDABLE!!! The Economic benefit has already been conferred!!! YAY! No matter what happens, the money is in the bank!!! YAY!!! And then, to change things, they might have to pay MORE!!! YAY!
on May 18,2013 | 09:14AM
niimi wrote:
I'd like to see where the HSTA, UPW, HGEA and other public sector unions in Hawaii send their leaders? I would like to see where the ILWU, Teamsters, Laborers and other private sector unions send their leaders? I'll bet there are a lot of country club memberships, regular lunches at Morton's, The Bankers Club and other nice venues just for a lunch meeting.
on May 18,2013 | 07:35AM
HD36 wrote:
That's one reason why so many people volunteer to be on the board of credit unions. HSFCU in particular had lavish trip for the board and their family.
on May 18,2013 | 08:10AM
808comp wrote:
I guess other cities do crazy things to. The good old American way,spend money that you don't have .This state is no better.
on May 18,2013 | 08:12AM
CriticalReader wrote:
What's the matter with the pension fund trustees in LA, New York, Chicago, Houston, etc., etc., etc., etc.??????? NO CLASS! NO THINKING BIG! NOT TAKING CARE OF THEIR HARDWORKING TRUSTEES properly!! If Detroit can send their people here, and they're struggling, then what does it say about other pension funds? They don't care about their trustees? They want to treat them cheaply? They don't VALUE their contributions? C'mon rest of America! Respect and take care of your trustees! At the very least, do what Detroit does. Send your trustees to Hawaii. Put them up at Halekulani, though (then they won't have to deal with "locals").
on May 18,2013 | 09:05AM
CriticalReader wrote:
If you think about it, other States and systems OWE US! Hawaii is doing its part in supporting national standards for how to take care of executives. We do out part BIG TIME. We hire UH executives by the bushel according to National Standards of pay and benefits. The pension funds should reciprocate. Send us your trustees!
on May 18,2013 | 09:18AM
ready2go wrote:
So what? Their retirement systems are in big trouble, so they're here to learn how to fix it! Also our visitor industry needs their business!
on May 18,2013 | 10:34AM
Anonymous wrote:
Incompetents demonstrating their incompetence........They had to come here to learn from the best.
on May 18,2013 | 01:56PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Well, it's obvious they came to consult with Neil and tap his expertise in operating a massively underfunded pension scam.
on May 18,2013 | 05:24PM
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