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.
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.