Pension Hazard: Gov. Greg Abbott’s nomination of a prominent critic of guaranteed-benefit pensions to chair the State Pension Review Board ran into significant resistance in the Senate Nominations Committee Thursday. Representatives of police officers, firefighters, and state, county, and municipal employees joined Texas AFT in opposing the nomination of Josh McGee, who works for a Houston-based foundation that has spearheaded attacks nationwide on pension plans providing a defined benefit you cannot outlive (like the Teacher Retirement System of Texas). Senators of both parties pressed McGee to explain how he could give state officials impartial advice wearing his Review Board hat while still serving as a zealous advocate of the Arnold Foundation pitch to switch more and more public employees to 401(k)-type, defined-contribution plans that do not guarantee any assured level of benefits. Several senators cited messages they are receiving from education employees in their districts with “fox in the henhouse” concerns about putting McGee in charge of state pension oversight.
McGee’s nomination, which requires the committee’s okay and then a two-thirds majority to be approved on the Senate floor, was left pending. That means you still have time and plenty of reason to add your voice to the outcry against this ill-advised appointment. Please do so now here!