Report: Promises with a Price

Dec 17, 2007

States have promised at least $2.73 trillion in pension, health care and other retirement benefits for public employees over the next three decades, according to a report released by the Pew Center on the States. Promises with a Price, the first 50-state analysis of its kind, finds that states have saved enough to cover about 85 percent of their long-term pension costs, but only three percent of the funds needed for promised retiree health care and other non-pension benefits.


The Pew Center on the States continues to track the challenges and reforms related to pensions and retiree health benefits.

In April 2011, Pew released The Widening Gap, a follow-up to the Trillion Dollar Gap.

In November 2010 Pew released an interactive map that shows which reforms states have recently undertaken and how they have managed retirement liabilities in the past.

In February 2010, Pew released “The Trillion Dollar Gap,” a report on the enormous funding gap for public sector retirement benefits.

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