America’s Urban Distress: Why the Public Pension Problem Is Worse than You Think
by F.F. Wiley
In January, the Pew Charitable Trusts published a study showing that 61 U.S. cities have an aggregate pension funding gap of $99 billion and an additional shortfall of $118 billion for retiree health benefits. These figures were widely cited by the media in the aftermath of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing. They refer to fiscal year 2009, which was the latest year with a full data set. Unfortunately, Pew’s analysis is ridiculously optimistic.