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 has contributed to in-depth solvency analysis of the Arizona PSPRS, Arkansas TRS, Louisiana TRSL, Texas ERS, and Texas TRS pension plans.
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 News: ESG debates, public pension plans’ worrying investment results, and more
Plus: Best practices for pension debt amortization and why state-run pension systems need to plan for recessions.
Most state pension plans are not adequately prepared for a recession
A recession could add trillions in debt to public retirement systems’ existing unfunded liabilities.
Pension Reform News: Join our ESG webinar, best practices for addressing inflation, and more
Plus: Join us for a webinar on Sept. 20 to discuss how ESG may impact public pension systems and taxpayers.
Pension Reform News: Comparing different pension plans, CalPERs reports negative returns and more
Plus: New survey on recruitment and retention, more transparency is needed on public pension investments, and more.
Pension Reform News: Forecasting state pension plans’ unfunded liabilities, some states make supplemental pension payments, and more
Plus: Texas needs to adjust its investment return assumptions, pension obligation bonds are getting riskier, and more.
Reformed pensions in Arizona, Michigan receiving supplemental funding to pay down debt faster
Arizona and Michigan’s recent treatment of funding for pension systems is an example of the value of comprehensive pension reform.
Unfunded public pension liabilities are forecast to rise to $1.3 trillion in 2022
The 2022 Public Pension Forecaster finds aggregate unfunded liabilities will jump back over $1 trillion if 2022 investment results end up at or below 0%.
Pension Reform News: Florida improves defined contribution plan, Alaska pension reform roll back blocked, and more
Plus: Assessment of the retirement efficiency gap leaves out some key details, Jacksonville’s public pension reform helps city get an improved credit rating, and more.
The Teacher Retirement System of Texas needs to adjust its investment return assumptions
TRS has accrued $47.6 billion in pension debt since 2002, and most of it, around $25 billion, came from investment returns falling below the plan's assumptions.