The great pension swindle

Boston Globe
by Laurence J. Kotlikoff

10/23/06

Our employer-based savings system is a mess. Everywhere you look, you see mismanagement, malfeasance, and meltdown. Collectively, private-sector pension funds are underfunded to the tune of $450 billion. State and local pension funds are short some $800 billion. That's $1.25 trillion in total! This situation didn't happen by accident. The federal government, with its own $11 trillion unfunded Social Security liability, has condoned the underfunding of private pensions for decades. It's also encouraged pension funds to invest in risky assets to cover their funding shortfalls. Those gambles generally haven't paid off. And it has sat silent as state and local governments turned pension underfunding into an art form...

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