Last week, Atlanta’s City Council voted unanimously to address a $1.5 billion public-pension liability by increasing worker contributions and reducing benefits. Florida also increased public-worker contributions.
Joe Dear is giving a pep talk to more than two dozen colleagues at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. As Dear paces before his people on this July afternoon in Sacramento, he implores them to shake off the funk of the pension fund’s recent troubles.
U.S. state pensions such as Illinois, Kansas and New Jersey are in a “death spiral,” with assets at many insufficient to cover benefits, payouts consuming a growing portion of resources and costs rising twice as fast as investment gains.