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Pension Envy, Pension Crisis45:49

This article is more than 10 years old.

Pension envy.  Taxpayers are footing the bill for public pensions as their own 401(k)s fall apart.  And tensions mounting.

Protest in Trenton, N.J.over pensions and health care benefits. (AP)
Protest in Trenton, N.J.over pensions and health care benefits. (AP)

Pension news this week. And pension envy. Fired BP CEO Tony Hayward will walk away with a million a year for life. Wow.

But in tiny Bell, California, city officials who plundered the budget may be lined up for half- million-dollar-a-year pensions themselves.

Most Americans in the private sector said goodbye to guaranteed pensions a long time ago. Then watched 401k savings flame out with the market.

Now taxpayer “have-nots” are watching public sector “haves” retire, often young, with nice full benefits. And the tension is growing.

This hour, On Point: Pension envy in the USA.



Alicia Munnell, director for the Center of Retirement Research at Boston College.

Mark Paul, senior scholar and deputy director of the California program at the New America Foundation.

Todd Zywicki, professor of law at George Mason University Law School.

This program aired on July 28, 2010.

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