Retirement

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    Causes and effects of unfunded public pensions

    Unfunded pension liabilities are driving up the cost of state government borrowing. For states, there may not be much difference between Republicans and Democrats. But for local governments, Democratic control means more unfunded promises. When people voter with their feet, the problem gets worse: Today’s public-sector employees…
    Joseph Coletti, March 5, 2019
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    The real root of retirement risks

    Andrew Biggs provides a reminder that governments are the main source of concern for future retirees’ incomes. while household retirement savings are growing, government retirement plans—Social Security, government employee pensions and the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.—are underfunded by up to $26 trillion. The World Economic Forum estimates that…
    Joseph Coletti, March 1, 2019
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    A questionable plan for Social Security

    Andrew Biggs uses a National Review Online column to question a new proposal for changing Social Security. On January 31, over 200 House Democrats jointly introduced the Social Security 2100 Act, legislation that would expand Social Security both by raising the 12.4 percent payroll tax and by phasing…
    Mitch Kokai, February 14, 2019
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    Economic growth and…

    “Economic growth, while necessary, is insufficient to address many of the challenges of our 21st-century economy,” Abby McCloskey writes in National Affairs. She offers some policy suggestions to improve connections in community, make work pay, and reform entitlements to improve government finances. I don’t endorse all of them, but…
    Joseph Coletti, January 29, 2019
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    An idea for boosting Social Security

    Harvard economist Martin Feldstein offers Barron’s readers suggestions for addressing an unsustainable system of Social Security. If it isn’t politically possible to raise the tax rate to support future retirees with the current structure of benefits, there are only two options to avoid a collapse of the entire…
    Mitch Kokai, December 3, 2018
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    State employees and teachers can slow growth in health costs

    New ID cards from the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees made at least one teacher angry. What exactly do the cards and accompanying letter say? State government insures itself and contracts with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to administer the program. Legislators have never…
    Joseph Coletti, November 7, 2018
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    Why public school employee benefits matter

    The left-wing media establishment is busy focusing on teacher pay, but they should spend some time talking about teacher benefits. Salaries were a $5.9 billion state expenditure last year.  The latest expenditure reports published by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction shows that $2.2 billion (25.6 percent of…
    Terry Stoops, September 28, 2018
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    Will teachers’ post-retirement benefits break the bank?

    In Education Next, Chad Aldeman, a principal at Bellwether Education Partners and the editor of TeacherPensions.org, writes, The escalating costs are poised to raise the profile of these post-employment health benefits. And the ensuing debate is sure to raise broader questions about what districts owe their retirees and…
    Terry Stoops, September 18, 2018