Monday, March 02, 2009

Backyard Brawl: the pension edition

Here is a pension factoid. From the Charleston Daily Mail is an article on the collective public pension problem for municipalities across West Virginia. They quote the total unfunded liability statewide as $700 million. Again, that is the number for all municipalities summed together.

By my estimation, the total unfunded liability just for city of Pittsburgh pension funds would be at least $700 million if we were to calculate it as of today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although this is a very interesting subject to nerdy people like me, I have some friends who have repeatedly claimed (in the context of this being a mayoral election issue) that municipal pensions will be bailed out a la the financial system based upon the notion that they are "too big to fail", "we made these promises", blah, blah. Accordingly Ravenstahl, Rendell, San Diego, MTA, et al, are counting on this to happen so they're just biding their time and ducking this no-good solution issue.

It's not unlike the Port Authority awarding contracts for the Connector based upon the assumption that money will come from somewhere in the next two years to pay for it. Do you think that Ravenstahl and his advisors are merely staying away from this issue hoping that some deus ex pelosia solves it? Is this good politics and/or fiscal policy (locally, not macroeconomically--it's terrible macro that everyone is/will defer obligations hoping for a bailout--ah, moral hazard we hardly knew ye)?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 4:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Wonk said...

We are not alone.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 4:50:00 PM  

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