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Government retiree costs are likely to play an increasing role in the competition among states for business and people, because these liabilities are not evenly distributed. Some states have enormous retiree obligations that they will somehow have to pay; others have enacted significant reforms, or never made lofty promises to their workers in the first place.
Indiana’s debt for unfunded retiree health-care benefits, for example, amounts to just $81 per person. Neighboring Illinois’s accumulated obligations for the same benefit average $3,399 per person.
See, the thing is, some people say that people aren’t clever enough to plan for their own retirement. But what makes anyone believe that people can then be clever enough to plan for other people’s retirements?
"Robinson, 62, is among a group of public employees who have increased their retirement paychecks by adding such things as vacation time, educational incentives, car allowances and bonuses to their final salaries.
Such “salary spiking” was banned in 1993 by CalPERS, the state’s largest public employee retirement system, to help control spiraling costs. But 20 of California’s 58 counties — including Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and San Diego — do not participate in CalPERS and their employees may legally continue to spike their salaries.”