Closing the Gap on State Pension and Health Care Costs

Pew Center on the States Managing Director Sue Urahn analyzes the latest findings on state funding of pensions and retiree health care. Pew's most recent report on the subject, "The Widening Gap: The Great Recession's Impact on State Pension and Retiree Health Care Costs," shows that the gap between the promises states have made for public employees' retirement benefits, and the money they have set aside to pay the tab, grew to at least $1.26 trillion in fiscal year 2009. The rising costs of these state liabilities threaten to crowd out resources for other priorities like education and public safety.