Public Sector Pensions: How Well Funded Are They, Really?

State Budget Solutions, July 2012

28 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2013

Date Written: July 18, 2012


This paper first describes how public employee pensions currently measure their financial health; then describes the strong consensus from economists that current accounting rules significantly understate pension liabilities and overstate pension funding levels; and finally, describes how pension financing across the country would appear using accounting rules similar to those required for private sector pensions or which are used by public employee plans in other countries.

Suggested Citation

Biggs, Andrew G., Public Sector Pensions: How Well Funded Are They, Really? (July 18, 2012). State Budget Solutions, July 2012, Available at SSRN:

Andrew G. Biggs (Contact Author)

American Enterprise Institute ( email )

1150 17th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-862-5841 (Phone)


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