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Public Pensions: Complex Systems Still in Flux  

Author:  Christopher Mier.

Source: Volume 38, Number 01, Spring 2017 , pp.27-55(29)

Municipal Finance Journal

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The discussion about public pensions, the magnitude of the financial problems they face, and the possible solutions have been an ongoing focus of concern for taxpayers, politicians, bond analysts, rating agencies, and government employees and retirees. A search of Google Trends for “Public Pensions” shows a high degree of interest that started in 2004, peaked in February 2011, and returned to 2004 levels in late 2016. The past three months have shown an uptick in interest, perhaps as a result of uncertainty regarding the new Trump administration’s policies. The interest in public pensions has been at the forefront of many people’s minds because of the wide range of disagreement regarding its size and potential impacts on the many affected constituencies. Forty-nine states have enacted pension reforms since 2006, but there has been scant evidence of material improvement until very recently.

Keywords: Public pensions, pension reform, Chapter 9, discount rate, Detroit bankruptcy

Affiliations:  1: Loop Capital.

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