California’s unfunded public employee pensions total more than $500 billion

“The state of California’s real unfunded pension debt clocks in at more than $500 billion, nearly eight times greater than officially reported,” according to the L.A. Times.

A new study by the Pew Foundation dug up more disturbing news about our unfunded public employee pension crisis.

In aggregate, states’ systems were 84 percent funded–a relatively positive outcome, because most experts advise at least an 80 percent funding level. Still, the unfunded portion–almost $452 billion–is substantial, and states’ overall performance was down slightly from an 85 percent combined funding level, against a $2.3 trillion total liability, in fiscal year 2006. These pension bills come due over time, with the current liability representing benefits that will be paid out to both current and future retirees. Liabilities will continue to grow and, as more workers approach retirement, the consequences of delayed funding will become more pronounced.

What does this all mean?  It means that the unfunded public pension debt is “seven times greater than all the outstanding voter-approved state general obligation bonds in California.”

The next time a government worker treats you badly or does a crappy job, remember that while you are working until you are 85, he will be sipping Mai Tai’s on some beach, enjoying a nice retirement and pension while we slave away to pay for his good times…

About Art Pedroza