Lynn Fitch defends MPACT suspension to Legislature

Senator Pro-Tem Terry Brown (17:00) forcefully told the treasurer he was “deluged with phone calls” by people who enrolled their children in the program. Senator Brown accused Ms. Fitch of keeping the legislature in the dark about the decision by the MPACT board to suspend enrollments. Ms. Fitch said they were “just taking a pause” in the MPACT program and just “doing an actuarial audit” to see where the program stands. She said the legislative liasons “were apprised” of board decisions. She called the measure “proactive and one of due diligence” and that current enrollees are protected by the “full faith and credit of the state”. Ms. Fitch said many states had made adjustments to their programs. Some closed them, some contributed more money, and others sold bonds.

Senator Brown asked the treasurer how long the suspension would last only to be told by Ms. Fitch she didn’t know how long it would be. Ms. Fitch told Representative John Moore MPACT had been underfunded since 2000. Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves asked the treasurer at the end of the hearing if she recommended suspending new enrollments in PERS since PERS was only funded at a level of 62%, far below the 76% funding level of MPACT. Ms. Fitch replied she couldn’t answer for PERS. This correspondent also asked Ms. Fitch what level she considered to be well-funded for the MPACT program. The Treasurer would not provide a percentage she considered to be a “well-funded” level.

Video of hearing at the jump

Jackson Jambalaya
9/19/12