Christopher Swope was GOVERNING's executive editor.E-mail: email@example.com
My "pension doom ahead" folder is bursting with clips lately.
E.J. McMahon, writing in today's WSJ (paid subsc), argues that public pension funds around the country are hiding as much as $1 trillion in future liabilities by using optimistic actuarial assumptions. McMahon believes that the 8 percent rate of return many public funds assume they'll make is too rosy. "If private-sector accounting standards were applied to these systems," he writes, "they would all look much worse."
Meanwhile, yesterday's NY Times noted that NYC's reportedly sound pension fund suddenly goes $49 billion in the hole if you tweak a few actuarial assumptions. (A previous story foretold pension problems around the U.S.).
The undercurrent in all these stories is that there are more cases of San Diego-itis out there. Are they right?
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.