Opinion Columns & Blogs

National experts warn about borrowing money for pension

Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes endorsed Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to borrow up to $1.5 billion to help shore up the state’s pension plan. “It’s a solution that is aimed at saving taxpayers money over the long run,” he said in a statement last week. But some national financial experts are raising red flags, Bloomberg reported. Sean Carney of BlackRock Inc., which oversees $116 billion in local debt, said now is not a good time to borrow money to invest. “You’re doing it at a time when equity markets have hit all-time highs, which hasn’t proven to be a good strategy in the past,” he said. In January, the Government Finance Officers Association recommended that state and city officials avoid such deals, saying they pose “significant risks.” The Society of Actuaries issued a similar warning last year. – Phillip Brownlee