The staggering threat of public pensions

The bull market has prospered for seven years — but even that is not enough to tame the pension monster, reports the Retirement Security Initiative.

The unfunded abilities of public employee pensions are estimated at 4 trillion.

There was a dip in the market last summer. In pension plans, “Investments tumbled, causing unfunded public pension liabilities to increase by $268 billion … the increase represents 1.4 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, which “is the equivalent of 50 percent of all of the property taxes levied by all of the state and local governments in the nation in a single year, or of a full year of spending by all state and local governments on police, fire protection and corrections combined.”

And that’s in a bull market. “Picture what will happen if we are suddenly faced with a bear market,” the reformers warn.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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