OK, 2 maps. . .
Both maps indicate that, according to a new Pew Center on the States study [ht: ja], most states are falling further and further behind in terms of funding employee retirement systems, both pensions and retiree health care.
Thus, for example, in 2010, only Wisconsin had fully funded its pension plan and 34 states were below the 80 percent threshold. By the same token, seventeen states did not set aside any money to fund their retiree health care liabilities, and only seven states had funded at least 25 percent of healthcare liabilities.
The response is, if anything, even uglier: nearly every state has moved to reduce its retirement bill in the last three years.
The most common actions included asking employees to contribute a larger amount toward their pension benefits; increasing the age and years of service required before retiring; limiting the annual cost-of-living (COLA) increase; and changing the formula used to calculate benefits to provide a smaller pension check.
Much the same, of course, is true in the private sector.
What this means is that, in the midst of the Second Great Depression, employees in both the public and private sectors are under assault—while they’re working and even when they retire.