Editorial: States Come To Grips with Pricey Pension Promises

Publication: USA Today


06/15/2010 - One of the most troubling social trends in recent years has been the pension gap between state and local employees (who can retire early — often very early — with instant, guaranteed, taxpayer-paid benefits) and the private sector workers whose taxes pay for those pensions. Their retirement benefits are largely self-financed and subject to market upheavals.

Now, through a combination of fiscal necessity, changed accounting rules and realization that millions of public workers have become a kind of privileged new class, the politics of public pensions appear to be changing.

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According to the Pew Center on the States, state pensions and other retiree benefit programs are underfunded by $1 trillion. And that estimate was made before the stock market swoon of 2008.

Read the entire article States Come To Grips with Pricey Pension Promises on the USA Today Web site.

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