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Pension Math: Public Pension Spending and Service Crowd Out in California, 2003-2030

Oct 2017
Working Paper
17-023
By  Joe Nation

California public pension plans are funded on the basis of policies and assumptions that can delay recognition of their true cost. Even with this delay, local and state governments are facing increasingly higher pension costs—costs that are certain to continue their rise over the next one to two decades, even under assumptions that critics regard as optimistic.  As budgets are squeezed, what are state and local governments cutting? Core services, including higher education, social services, public assistance, welfare, recreation and libraries, health, public works, and in some cases, public safety.  

Publication Keywords: 
local government
state government
budgets
finance
pensions
public sector
Public Finance
defined benefit
actuarial assumptions
crowd out
pension contributions
operating expenditures
funded ratio
unfunded liability