Underfunded pensions weigh heavily on states

03/24/2010 | National Public Radio (text and audio)

Many public-employee pension systems are underfunded -- Pennsylvania currently has more than $20 billion in unfunded liabilities -- partly because critics say lawmakers are playing politics. "[I]t's easy for a politician or a policymaker to give benefits right now, even retroactively, and then defer that cost up to 30 years," says Rick Dreyfuss, a Commonwealth Foundation senior fellow.

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