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Public Sector Pension Envy48:22
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photoWhile the overwhelming majority of Americans have left guaranteed retirement pensions far behind for the on-your-own world of 401Ks or less, public employees are still wracking up some of the best pension deals in history.

Today, 90 percent of public employees can still look forward to a defined benefit pension. Among private sector employees, that number is only 20 percent, and falling.

While millions of Americans are headed toward retirement with little idea how they are going to scrape by, public employees are breaking state and local budgets with pensions that rock. So, should we celebrate their good fortune or get out the axe?

Hear about the public sector's pension plans and their future.

Guests:

Nanette Byrnes, senior writer at BusinessWeek, author of the cover story, "Sinkhole: How Public Pension Promises Are Draining State and City Budgets," in the June 13 issueOlivia Mitchell, professor of insurance and public policy and director of the Pension Research Council and the Boettner Center for pensions and retirement research at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, editor of "Pensions in the Public Sector" and "Benefits for the Workplace of the Future"

Rich Ferlauto, director of Pension Benefit Policy for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees

John McCormac, State Treasurer for New Jersey.

This program aired on June 17, 2005.

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