Recent Press Releases

Why employee pensions aren't bankrupting states

Investigative reporters at McClatchy Newspapers, one of the nation’s largest newspaper chains and parent company of the Sacramento, Modesto, and Fresno Bee newspapers, examined public employee pensions across the U.S.  Their conclusion: “There's simply no evidence that state pensions are the current burden to public finances that their critics claim.”

March 6, 2011
By Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — From state legislatures to Congress to tea party rallies, a vocal backlash is rising against what are perceived as too-generous retirement benefits for state and local government workers. However, that widespread perception doesn't match reality.

A close look at state and local pension plans across the nation, and a comparison of them to those in the private sector, reveals a more complicated story. However, the short answer is that there's simply no evidence that state pensions are the current burden to public finances that their critics claim.

Pension contributions from state and local employers aren't blowing up budgets. They amount to just 2.9 percent of state spending, on average, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College puts the figure a bit higher at 3.8 percent. Read the full article here.