The sustainability of public sector pension plans is an issue of great fiscal concern for state and local governments in the United States. According to government reports, state public sector pension plans confront a total unfunded liability of $842 billion. Underfunding of this magnitude presents a serious fiscal problem for individual governments and will require a growing amount of budgetary resources to fund benefit promises to retired workers.
This paper examines the fiscal health of the states, focusing on two worrisome characteristics: an understatement of unfunded pension liabilities and ever-increasing expenditures, driven primarily by health care costs.
This study focuses on public sector benefits costs in the state of New Jersey. Along with several other states, New Jersey’s pension system is badly underfunded and health care and other benefits for public sector workers are entirely unfunded.
Fiscal Year 2011 marks Maryland's third year of recession and fifth year of structural deficits. This article highlights how Maryland started on this path of fiscal instability and what the future holds if this trajectory continues.