Monday, January 26, 2009

Entitlement train wreck is ahead of schedule

First stop, Illinois:
A financial war is brewing -- and it's likely to pit these public employees against Illinois taxpayers who are responsible for paying those generous pension promises. There simply isn't enough money in all these retirement plans (see box) to send out the promised checks. If you think Bernie Madoff had a Ponzi scheme going, wait until the wave of boomer retirement hits the reality of pension underfunding.
Next stop could be anywhere

To be sure, Illinois is not alone. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimates that state pension plans have losses greater than $865 billion, a loss of nearly 40 percent in just the last year.

The National Bureau of Economic Research says the value of pension promises already made by U.S. state governments will grow to approximately $7.9 trillion in just 15 years. And the report predicts that as much as $1.75 trillion of those benefits cannot be paid.

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