State Budgets

Potential Pension Troubles Pose A Serious Threat To States: ALEC in The Daily Caller

When it comes to public pensions, keeping the promises made to state workers and retirees is critical

ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson and EVP of Policy and Chief Economist Jonathan Williams were featured in The Daily Caller detailing the major concerns regarding unfunded pension liabilities and the danger from it that could impact state finances as noted in the latest ALEC report, Unaccountable and Unaffordable.

Across all 50 states, there was a collective $6.96 trillion in liabilities for public pensions that were unfunded, meaning the cost disbursed in pensions was higher than the amount collected, averaging almost $21,000 in unfunded liabilities per person, according to ALEC’s Unaccountable and Unaffordable report. California, Hawaii, Illinois and Alaska all exceeded $35,000 in liabilities per capita, while Tennessee and Indiana were the only states below $10,000 per capita.

“Understanding our pension crisis is difficult, but thankfully this report charts a path for legislators to permanently solve this growing problem,” Lisa Nelson, ALEC CEO, said in a press release. “Absent a fix, the fiscal meltdown of state pension funds threatens to leave American taxpayers on the hook for trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities.”

“When it comes to public pensions, keeping the promises made to state workers and retirees is critical,” Jonathan Williams, chief economist and executive vice president of policy at ALEC, said in the press release. “Without major reforms — such as switching to defined contribution plans — pension promises will be harder to keep, and taxpayers will be forced to bail out unfunded pension plans at great personal expense.”

Read the rest of the article here.

In Depth: State Budgets

Smart budgeting is vital to a state’s financial health. The ALEC State Budget Reform Toolkit offers more than 20 policy ideas for addressing today’s shortfalls in a forthright manner, without resorting to budget gimmicks or damaging tax increases. One way to stabilize budgets over time is to embrace…

+ State Budgets In Depth