We know the headlines-- state public pensions are in trouble. It's because of a combination of retirement funds taking a hit in the stock market, and a drop-off in state revenues because of the recession, just as the country sees that bulge in retirement age workers.
With estimates of a shortfall of anywhere from $600 million to over $1 trillion in public retirement funds, states are looking to make changes.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker asked state employees to start contributing directly to their pensions.
Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo made the case on Here & Now for pension reform, saying the system in her state was "too generous."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls his state's pension system "unsustainable." He wants to offer new employees the option of a 401(k)-type program.
But New York's elected comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, is making a passionate argument for traditional, defined benefit pensions. He says they are the cheapest option in the long run, for both states and for employees.
DiNapioli also says that not only do people with a guaranteed pension spend their money, they spend it locally, bringing economic stability to their communities.
- Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller
This segment aired on February 8, 2012.