Unaccountable and Unaffordable 2019

by Jonathan Williams, Thomas Savidge, Skip Estes & Bob Williams

Introduction

Unfunded state pension liabilities total $4.9 trillion or $15,080 for every man, woman and child in the United States. State governments are often obligated, by contract and state constitutional law, to make these pension payments regardless of economic conditions. As these pension payments continue to grow, revenue that would have gone to essential services like public safety and education, or tax  relief, goes topaying off these liabilities instead.This year’s Unaccountable and Unaffordable is important because it shows that pension underfunding existed long before COVID-19.