Pension Woes Mounting?

My "pension doom ahead" folder is bursting with clips lately. E.J. McMahon, writing in today's WSJ (paid subsc), argues that public pension ...
by | August 21, 2006

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?

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