Saturday, October 6, 2012

Public pension funds stung by losses

The hole gets deeper and deeper--

U.S. public pensions end bumpy second quarter with losses | Reuters: " . . . pension funds for U.S. state and local government workers were stung in April, May and June by sagging global stock markets. The funds recorded losses of $14.2 billion for the second quarter, the U.S. Census Bureau said on Thursday. . . U.S. taxpayers worry that commitments made to public employees for retirement benefits may absorb bigger slices of public funds as local and state governments weather America's slowly growing economy. States and local governments face unfunded pension liabilities of $750 billion or more, depending on estimates. . . In the second quarter, states as well as city, county and other local governments throttled back on pension contributions, which totaled $21.36 billion - down from $24.1 billion in the first quarter, Census Bureau data showed. In 2011's second quarter, government contributions were $22.5 billion. In contrast, employee contributions to pension funds rose from the first quarter's $9.3 billion to $10.3 billion in the second quarter. Employee payments to the pensions were $10.9 billion in 2011's second quarter, according to the Census data. Census Bureau data is based on the 100 largest public-employee retirement systems."

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