State, municipal leaders discuss pension system debts

State and municipal leaders are in talks to change Alaska’s multi-billion-dollar pension system.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports that local leaders attended a meeting last week in Juneau to discuss possible changes to the system that would assign a portion of the system’s debt to municipalities.

A change in national accounting standards requires the state to show the approximately $10 billion in debt on its books. The Alaska Department of Administration in September sent a memo notifying local governments that they would shoulder a portion of that burden.

With the state’s plan, the Ketchikan borough would have an additional $70 million in debt on its books.

Ketchikan leaders argue that the change could change the boroughs bond debt rating and cost taxpayers in the short run.

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