US Public Pensions Are In Trouble

Data is coming in for public pensions carried by local and state governments in reference to debt held.

The 25 largest U.S. public pension systems face about $2 trillion in unfunded liabilities, showing that investment returns can’t keep up with ballooning obligations, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The 25 biggest systems by assets averaged a 7.45 percent return from 2004 to 2013, close to the expected 7.65 percent rate, Moody’s said in a report released Thursday. Yet the New York-based credit rater’s calculation of liabilities tripled in the eight years through 2012, according to the report.

Public supporters of government pensions have always maintained the workers have properly foot the bill but the report says otherwise.

“Despite the robust investment returns since 2004, annual growth in unfunded pension liabilities has outstripped these returns,” Moody’s said. “This growth is due to inadequate pension contributions, stemming from a variety of actuarial and funding practices, as well as the sheer growth of pension liabilities as benefit accruals accelerate with the passage of time, salary increases and additional years of service.”

Read the rest here at Money News

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