Last week, I wrote a post titled Looking at the Causes of the Public Pension Problem in America. In it, I provided some reasons why states and municipalities may not be able to meet their pension obligations to retiring workers: the financial meltdown and subsequent loss of billions of dollars in pension fund money, the willful underfunding of public worker pensions by states and municipalities, and the “borrowing” of pension money “to finance other budget needs.”
I did not mean to imply that many public pension plans should not be revisited…that many may not need to be reformed…that some individuals aren’t abusing the system. Still, we have not been getting the whole story about the “public pension crisis” in America from the mainstream media. I hope to provide more information on the subject to readers of this blog as I continue my research to find out what’s really going on with public pension reform in this country.
The Institute for America’s Future recently published a report on the subject of pension reform titled The Plot against Pensions, which was written by David Sirota. In his report, Sirota said that many of the pension reforms being advocated today are akin to “President George W. Bush’s proposal to radically alter Social Security”—in that they would “transform stable public pension funds into individualized accounts.” He adds that these pension reforms “would most often reduce millions of Americans’ guaranteed retirement benefits. In many cases, they would also increase expenses for taxpayers and enrich Wall Street hedge fund managers.”