“Glaring headlines about Arizona’s public worker retirement system suggest that your typical retired teacher, firefighter or police officer is sipping margaritas on a beach somewhere enjoying a six-figure pension. Meanwhile the state’s pension funds are running out of money, leaving you, the taxpayer, stuck with the bill.

Contrary to that alarmist image, Arizona’s retirement system provides only modest retirement security to public workers. When properly managed, this system represents the most efficient use of state dollars to help retired teachers, first responders and other public servants earn a level of security and economic certainty – a reliable retirement that eludes all too many people with 401(k) plans.

The most important question going forward, of course, is whether Arizona’s pension systems provide the most secure retirement to public workers at the best value to taxpayers. The answer, based on a recent comprehensive study authored by independent economists at the Grand Canyon Institute, is a resounding “yes.”” -Tuscon Sentinel

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