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The 2015 Pension 40: Alejandro García Padilla

No. 7 Alejandro García Padilla, Governor / Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Alejandro García Padilla
Governor / Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Last year: 22

When a public employee pension plan with a funding ratio under 1 percent isn’t the biggest fiscal problem your administration faces, you know you’re in trouble. That’s exactly the situation faced by Puerto Rico’s governor, Alejandro García Padilla, 44. The commonwealth’s two major pension plans, the Employees Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement System, have staggering unfunded liabilities: As much as 99.3 percent, or $30 billion, for the employees’ system; 88.5 percent, or $13.1 billion, for the teachers’. The most optimistic recent data suggests the employees’ assets will be fully depleted by 2021, when the commonwealth will have to find more than $1 billion a year to pay retirees. Yet the estimated $45 billion pension shortfall isn’t the really bad news. In 2013, before its credit rating was slashed to junk, Puerto Rico, with a population of 3.5 million, was the third-largest issuer of U.S. muni debt, behind only New York and California. In June, when Padilla announced that Puerto Rico owed more than $72 billion to creditors and couldn’t pay, the muni market sold off. With more than $1 billion in bond payments coming due between December 1 and January 1, the commonwealth and its representatives have been in intense negotiations with creditors. Meanwhile, Congress, the White House and the U.S. Treasury Department are exploring options that include letting Puerto Rico file for bankruptcy, which it’s now banned from doing. Padilla is up for reelection in 2016 and expected to face a tough fight to stay in office. If he survives the election and debt negotiations, he will still confront the enormous pension shortfall.

The 2015 Pension 40

1. Bruce Rauner
2. John & Laura Arnold
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
3. Chris Christie
New Jersey
4. Randi Weingarten
AmericanFederation of Teachers
5. Phyllis Borzi
U.S. Department
of Labor
6. Kevin de León
7. Alejandro García Padilla
Commonwealth ofPuerto Rico
8. Laurence Fink
9. Rahm Emanuel
10. Sean McGarvey
North AmericanBuilding Trades Unions
11. John Kline
12. J. Mark Iwry
U.S. Treasury
13. Damon Silvers
14. Jeffrey Immelt
Electric Co.
15. Joshua Gotbaum
Brookings Institution
16. Robin Diamonte
United Technologies Corp.
17. Mark Mullet
18. Terry O'Sullivan
Laborers' International Union of North America
19. Raymond Dalio
Bridgewater Associates
20. Ted Wheeler
21. Thomas Nyhan
Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund
22. Karen Ferguson & Karen Friedman
Pensions Rights Center
23. Randy DeFrehn
National Coordinating Committee forMultiemployer Plans
24. Robert O'Keef
Motorola Solutions
25. Caitlin Long
Morgan Stanley
26. Kenneth Feinberg
The Law Offices
of Kenneth R. Feinberg
27. Orrin Hatch
28. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University
29. Ian Lanoff
Groom Law Group
30. Joshua Rauh
Stanford Graduate School of Business
31. Ted Eliopoulos
California Public Employees' Retirement System
32. Edward (Ted) Siedle
Benchmark Financial Services
33. Teresa Ghilarducci
New School for Social Research
34. Denise Nappier
35. W. Thomas Reeder Jr.
Pension BenefitGuaranty Corp.
36. Hank Kim
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems
37. Paul Singer
Elliott Management Corp.
38. Bailey Childers
National PublicPension Coalition
39. Amy Kessler
Prudential Financial
40. Judy Mares
U.S. Labor Department

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