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Pew Says Modest Economic Downturn Could Spell Doom For The Most Underfunded Pension Systems

A relatively healthy US economy has helped keep state pension funds afloat over the past several years but a recent study from The Pew Charitable Trusts suggested that even a modest downturn in economic fortunes could push off the cliff some of the more troubled state pension funds like those in New Jersey and Kentucky.

Here is an excerpt from a report on pension funds from CBS:

“Even after eight years of economic recovery — eight straight years of stock market gains — the public pension plans are more vulnerable than they’ve ever been to the next recession,” researcher Greg Mennis said in an interview.

Governments have been ramping up contributions to the funds to help cover the promises they’ve made to retirees, but that leaves less money to spend on schools, police, parks and other core government services.

Another option is reducing pension benefits. A plan to do that in Kentucky led to teacher walkouts earlier this year.

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