Blue Model Blues
Red States Take the Lead in Quest for Pension Stability

Institutional Investor argues that some states have started to take pension reform seriously:

For many of America’s underfunded public defined benefit systems, there’s no painless path forward — only pain now or pain later. And despite a few standout examples of the “pain later” camp, a growing number of plans have toughed out reforms aimed at long-term survival. But some states have gone farther, creating dedicated funding sources or rainy-day funds, which have been picking up steam this year. […]

Among those steps: establishing dedicated funding sources, such as revenues from gambling or so-called sin taxes (on cigarettes and alcohol, for example).

And which states would these be? Institutional Investor singles out Oklahoma, Kansas, and Montana for taking proactive measures to increase revenue—mostly red states run by, gasp, Republicans that Democrats claim are hostile to state workers.

Of course, it hasn’t just been a scramble to increase revenues. Oklahoma and Indiana have tried (and failed) to switch their teachers away from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. But making no promises that you cannot keep, and taking appropriate steps to make sure you do keep the promises you have made is what all states should be doing.

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