CEPR Graph Featured in Progressive States Network Report

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Monday, 08 March 2010 13:12

The Progressive States Network has a new report out arguing that, despite media hype to the contrary, there is no crisis in public retirement systems.

CEPR contributed a key graph to the report. As the PSN writes:

"Public Employee Unions are Not Driving Underfunding of Retiree Benefits: Part of the rhetoric around high-paid retirees and the supposed public pension crisis is blaming public employee unions for pushing states into fiscal crisis. Yet as the graph below indicates, courtesy of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, there is zero correlation between the degree of state employee unionization and how well funded state plans are. In fact, New York state has the highest unionization rate in the country and the highest funding level compared to its liability of any state, while other high unionization states like Connecticut and Rhode Island share honors with low-unionization states like Kansas and Louisiana for falling somewhat below the 80% goal for pre-funding retiree obligations. What's clear is that budgetary factors quite unrelated to the level of public employee unionization are the main factors in how well states pre-fund their pension obligations."

GRAPH

UnionizationRatesStateByState