Managing Retirement

In 1969, newly-arrived in Springfield as Richard Ogilvie's Budget Director I was approached by Charles Woodford, the Assitant Treasurer who worked with the independently-elected Treasurer Adlai Stevenson.
Chuck said, "this is a great idea, and if the government would join the Treasurer (Republicans and Democrats) we could probably make it happen in the General Assmebly."
The idea was to merge the investment mangement functions of the state employees' retirement system, the General Assembly retirement system, and the Judges' retirement system.
The bill sailed through both Houses with minimal opposition and under the chaimanship of A.D. Van Meter, the State Investment Board was created under the directorhsip of Carl Faust.
Great governmental reform, total unanimity on the move, and a step function improvement in investment management.
For the next legislative session, I went to the Governor and said this is the easiest thing we've ever done. Let's extend it now to the downstate teachers and to the university retirement system.
Wow. Bam. Disaster. Never got the bill out of first reading in the first House.
Talk about opposition!
As I look back now, 40+ years later, at the mess in state retirement programs and unfunded liability, I recognize how deep the vested interested at that time were in how they were able to kill this bill.
The other learning from that time is: do your actuarial assumptions at the beginning of the budget process, and put in your retirement allocation first because after all of the special pleaders--for good and ill--have made their pitches, you will have no money leftover to fund the pensions.