The July 17, 2016, commentary by Ed Bachrach on public pensions seems to miss important facts.
First, following the global financial crisis every state acted, without federal intervention, to make meaningful changes to defined benefit pensions covering public employees. A large majority of states increased employees’ contributions and adjusted future benefits for workers and retirees while protecting retirement security.
Increased funding coupled with recovery of the financial markets has put public pensions on pathways to stronger financial footings. Funding levels of public pensions, collectively, have climbed to 74 percent using traditional accounting rules. This means states already hold about three-fourths of the assets needed to pay retirement incomes decades into the future. Since 2009, public pensions sent retirees $1.5 trillion in monthly checks – money spent across the nation that supported our ailing economy and several million jobs.