National League of Cities Launches Initiative Sponsored by ICMA-RC to Examine Retiree Benefits

Initiative will identify trends, challenges and solutions to local government retirement challenges to help cities achieve greater fiscal sustainability

WASHINGTON—Today the National League of Cities (NLC) announced the launch of the new public sector retirement initiative, sponsored by ICMA-RC, to strengthen municipal fiscal health by equipping elected leaders with education and research on trends, challenges and solutions to local government retirement. Retiree-related costs, including retirement savings and healthcare, have consistently ranked among the top budget stressors for city governments. 

"Adequate retirement is critical for sustaining a competitive public workforce," said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities (NLC). "This initiative will help city leaders make choices that enable retirement security while also strengthening municipal fiscal health. We will explore what is working, what isn't, and how best to equip city leaders to take on this challenge."

NLC has established a Public Sector Retirement Advisory Committee, comprised of city elected leadership and staff, state municipal leagues, researchers, industry specialists and financial analysts, to help shape NLC's research and outreach activities.

"ICMA-RC is excited to be partnering with the National League of Cities to create the Public Sector Retirement Initiative, which will be focused on delivering public sector retirement-driven research, education, and assistance to city and town officials and state municipal leagues throughout the nation," said Gregory J. Dyson ICMA-RC Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. "We believe a resource for local government leaders is critical to the success of communities, and we are proud to sponsor the initiative."

Yesterday, at the inaugural Public Sector Retirement Advisory Committee meeting, members shared industry insights and opportunities for new research on issues including dedicated revenue streams for retirement systems, state regulatory environment, impact of demographic shifts, ability of cities to show full compensation value, retiree health challenges and retirement education and communication.

The advisory committee includes:

  • AARP
  • Build America Mutual
  • Center for State and Local Government Excellence
  • CIGNA Healthcare
  • City of Anaheim, CA
  • City of Cedar Rapids, IA
  • City of Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • City of Wilmington, DE
  • Financial Accounting Foundation
  • Government Accounting Standards Board (observer)
  • Government Finance Officers Association
  • GreenbergTraurig
  • Maryland Municipal League
  • Michigan Municipal League
  • Moody's Analytics
  • Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University
  • United Healthcare
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
  • Society for Human Resource Management

Joshua Hart will join NLC as Senior Fellow, Public Finance to implement the initiative. Hart brings nearly 15 years of experience as a senior public finance and retirement researcher at Pew Charitable Trusts, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Fannie Mae and U.S. Department of Treasury.  

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.