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Are we lying to ourselves about our pension problems? (TIME)

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The Governmental Accounting Standards Board is changing the bookkeeping rules so new pension plan reporting better reflects reality. As of 2010 and under current accounting rules, public pension plans had 76 cents for every dollar they must pay retirees in the future, according to an analysis by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Under the new accounting rules, cash on hand would be 57 cents on the dollar. The changes will go into full effect in 2015, but only for pensions running such large deficits that they are certain to need to borrow money to fulfill obligations. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a government agency that backstops the private pensions of 44 million workers, showed shortfall of $26 billion in its latest report. Its maximum payout to individuals is $56,000 a year, but its ability to pay in the future is in question.