Why the public-pension timebomb is growing even more deadly
By Steven Malanga
February 5, 2019 | 7:24pm
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The study found that, on average, female teachers were living 90 years, while male teachers lived 87.7 years. Female government workers in the general public-pension plans lived to 88.5; male government workers, 85.5.
By contrast, the Social Security Administration’s life expectancy tables show that men who reach 65 can expect on average to live 84.3 years, and women 86.7 years. A Society of Actuaries study of private-sector pension plans shows that members live longer than the general public but shorter than many government workers: men in these systems live on average to about 85.6 years old, and women to slightly more than 87.6 years old.
Workers’ life expectancy is an important factor, of course, in a pension fund’s financial picture. In the private sector, defined-benefit pensions must follow mortality tables issued by the federal government. No such strictures bind public pensions, and as the society’s study suggests, the rates used by government pension systems vary widely.
In 2014, several communities in Illinois discovered that officials were using mortality tables from 1971, when life expectancy was much shorter, which vastly underestimated pension costs. The resulting outcry forced those communities to update their calculations, and led to average increases in costs by about 20 percent.
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As a little L libertarian, I have little use for the Gooferment. But if I am forced to live under their tyranny, then I’ll try to make it “better”.
As an fat old white guy retired injineer who’s a poor old senior citizen on a fixed income, I am concerned for myself and our posterity by the the current 121T+ national debt and the guesstimated 200T+ in unfunded liabilities.
Perhaps, the Federal Gooferment should impose the same accounting standards on State Gooferments as it does on corporations. I’m not sure that aligns with the idea that States have rights. It would seem that requiring all actors to use the latest statistics would at least help define the problem.
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