January 22, 2012

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Great Minnesota Pension Scam. “If you are a current or former state employee in the state of Minnesota, watch out. Your pension depends on hot air, sketchy arithmetic, and the willingness of future taxpayers to make huge sacrifices to cover the deceit, wishful thinking and sketchy math at the heart of your pension system.” Of course, this problem isn’t limited to Minnesota. It’s endemic.

Plus this advice: “Under modern conditions, for younger workers especially plans where you make contributions matched by your employer are safer bets than defined benefit plans. In defined contribution plans, they can’t touch your money to pay pensions for older workers; in other plans they can suck you dry to keep the better connected and better organized geezers happy. Your union reps and state legislators won’t tell you about this, but it’s true: badly funded defined benefit programs will be looted to pay the oldsters in full as long as possible, and younger workers will be stiffed when the bill finally comes due.”

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