RSI Board Member Dan Liljenquist spoke in Washington, D.C. today about the growing need for public pension reform in states and municipalities throughout the country. He was joined by a panel of nationally-recognized pension experts who discussed the estimated $5.6 trillion pension crisis facing the U.S.
"The problem is, we've stayed married to a pension structure that's been around for 40 years and is outdated," said Liljenquist. "There's better options that will allow state and local governments to meet their commitments, while capping their liabilities going forward."
Skyrocketing pension debt results in tremendous budget challenges for state and local governments. And as pension plans face insolvency, policymakers tend to pull funds from important public services like public safety and education to pay down the debt. As one panelist pointed out, 89 cents of every new dollar for education funding in Chicago has gone toward pensions since 2009.
"Reality is not negotiable," said Liljenquist. "As trade offs of public services to pay down pension debt become more real, we'll hopefully see more engagement on the issue."
Watch the full panel discussion here.