State and Local Government Retiree Benefits: Current Funded Status of Pension and Health Benefits

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Pension and other retiree benefits for state and local government employees represent liabilities for state and local governments and ultimately a burden for state and local taxpayers. Since 1986, accounting standards have required state and local governments to report their unfunded pension liabilities. Recently, however, standards changed and now call for governments also to report retiree health liabilities. The extent of these liabilities nationwide is not yet known, but some predict they will be very large, possibly exceeding a trillion dollars in present value terms. The ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. January 29, 2008.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Pension and other retiree benefits for state and local government employees represent liabilities for state and local governments and ultimately a burden for state and local taxpayers. Since 1986, accounting standards have required state and local governments to report their unfunded pension liabilities. Recently, however, standards changed and now call for governments also to report retiree health liabilities. The extent of these liabilities nationwide is not yet known, but some predict they will be very large, possibly exceeding a trillion dollars in present value terms. The federal government has an interest in assuring that all Americans have a secure retirement, as reflected in the federal tax deferral for contributions to both public and private pension plans. Consequently, the GAO was asked to examine: 1) the key measures of the funded status of retiree benefits and 2) the current funded status of retiree benefits. GAO analyzed data on public pensions, reviewed current literature, and interviewed a range of experts on public retiree benefits, actuarial science, and accounting."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • January 29, 2008

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. State and Local Government Retiree Benefits: Current Funded Status of Pension and Health Benefits, report, January 29, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc295784/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.