Friday, July 2, 2010

Introduction to the TEXPERS Blog

Welcome to the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems (TEXPERS) blog. I am Max Patterson, the executive director of TEXPERS, and I will be one of several authors contributing to this blog.

In coming weeks and months I will be joined by members of the Board, experts in pensions and investments, and other guest bloggers of various backgrounds to discuss issues of importance regarding the pension systems for public employees of Texas, particularly those employed by police and fire departments as well as municipalities and other districts.

Our joint purpose will be to provide readers with more information about the functioning and performance of Texas public pension systems. Along the way we’ll examine some of the issues that are coming out in the news, both here in Texas and in other states. Our primary focus will be Texas, of course, but so much of the national news seems to focus on problems in other states. We hope to provide a bit of a reality check on those issues, as some of those reports seem to cause confusion and anxiety here among plan members, politicians and the general public.

We don’t want confusion and anxiety when it comes to understanding the good things that are being done at Texas public employee pensions.

Our 80+ member systems work hard to educate their trustees and staff members in their fiduciary responsibilities. They work extremely hard to find the right investment mixes to assure the greatest return with the least risk. They dedicate a tremendous amount of time to the efficient management of their funds and their retirees’ benefits. We owe it to them to clarify issues that are confusing to the media and the general public.

That’s the simple intention for our blog, greater understanding about the Texas public employee pension system. We invite you to come along, learn a little and engage with us in clearing up areas of concern. We’re writing this blog for you, so we hope you’ll engage and question us when things get a little opaque, or comment when we need an extra fact or opinion. This is your blog as much as ours. All Texans win with strong public employee pensions in Texas. Come along and enjoy! --- Max Patterson

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