Press Release: Consumer group files FOIA with Department of Labor over vanished state pensions report

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Was document detailing solutions to pensions in crisis removed for political or other considerations?

Washington, D.C. — MAY 3, 2021 – Consumers’ Research filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today with the Department of Labor to compel the agency to account for the removal of the document “OASP Working Paper on State and Local Pensions – The Case for Fundamental Reforms” from the DOL’s official website. The document was posted on January 15 and was quietly taken down prior to February 1 after the change of administration.

“The disappearance of this report is extremely concerning because state governments are facing a looming pension crisis,” said Will Hild, Executive Director of Consumers’ Research, an independent nonprofit organization established in 1929. “Most states are prepared to meet only 70 percent of their pension obligations,” he said. “Four states have not set aside sufficient assets to meet even half of their pension commitments.”

The Consumers’ Research FOIA requests “all documents, including letters, memos, e-mails, text messages and other forms of electronic communication” relating to the decision to take down the document. “Whatever the rationale for shrouding crucial information from consumers’ eyes, we demand transparency from the new administration,” said Hild. “With 1,000 American consumers reaching the current retirement age of 65 every day, we need answers, not darkness and stealth.”

About Consumers’ Research:

Founded in 1929, Consumers’ Research is an independent educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the knowledge and understanding of issues, policies, products, and services of concern to consumers and to promote the freedom to act on that knowledge and understanding. In addition to following important marketplace trends, Consumers’ Research frequently comments on the effects that laws, regulations, and government programs have on consumers.

Consumers Research DOL FOIA request
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