Zachary Christensen is a managing director of Reason Foundation's Pension Integrity Project.
Christensen’s work with Reason's Pension Integrity Project aims to promote solvent, sustainable retirement systems that provide retirement security for government workers while reducing long term costs for taxpayers and employees. Zachary and his team provides education, reform policy options, and actuarial analysis for policymakers and stakeholders to help them design reform proposals that are practical and viable.
The Pension Integrity Project has provided technical assistance to several successful pension reform efforts in recent years, including in Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, South Carolina, Texas and other states tackling persistent pension solvency challenges.
Christensen's work has been published in the Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, NJ.com, Colorado Politics, and many other publications. He has also been featured in the Carolina Journal and the Michigan Capitol Confidential. His research has been published by the Hoover Institution, The Platte Institute, Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Rio Grande Foundation.
Prior to joining Reason Foundation, Christensen was a pension finance analyst at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where he worked on widely-cited research on the funding status and accounting methods for public sector retirement systems.
Christensen holds an M.S. in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and a B.S. in Political Science from Brigham Young University.
Pension Reform Newsletter: Leveraging airports to improve pension solvency, the future of reform in Pennsylvania, and more
Plus: Solutions to Montana’s pension challenges, comparing U.S. and Canadian public pensions, and more.
A change to PERA's mortality assumptions, which more accurately project the length of time current members will be drawing benefits from the plan, added $3.1 billion in liabilities.
One simple solution—especially with the state sitting on a massive surplus—would be a prompt make-up payment.
Plus: A possible 13th check for Texas teachers, how Florida can pay down pension debt, and more.
Pension Reform Newsletter: Landmark Reform in Texas, How Annuities Can Improve Retirement Offerings, and More
Plus: States that are leading the way on pension reform, new report on the value of retirement benefits and more.
Senate Bill 321, the new Texas pension reform law, addresses persistent structural underfunding and will pay down over $14 billion in unfunded liabilities.
Pension Reform Newsletter: Texas Legislature Approves Pension Reform, Retirement Choice in South Carolina, and More
Plus: Colorado and Arizona consider extra debt payments and Michigan looks to expand public employees' ability to purchase annuities.
Twenty years ago, state pension plans were nearly 100 percent funded, on average. Today they are roughly 72 percent funded.
A new report finds that making a $500 million payment to PERA this year could generate significant annual savings.