Dallas Pays Way Too Much for Its Police and Fire Pension to Go Broke

The more you pay, the more they need.That’s one takeaway from the crisis at the Dallas Police and Fire Pension, and everybody has a right to be angry.Taxpayers pony up nearly 28 percent of those workers’ pay for their retirement. That’s roughly three times more than most workers get from their employer with Social Security and a typical 401(k) match.Police and firefighters get triple the standard benefit and their retirement fund is going broke? Incredibly, this isn't unusual. Nationwide, state-run retirement systems are underfunded by over $900 billion, according to Pew Research. Throw in local pension systems, such as police and fire plans, and the nationwide gap is projected to top $1.5 trillion in 2015.Every pension that falls on hard times has its own winding history. But troubled pensions everywhere share a trait with the demise in Dallas: They promise more than they can deliver.  Continue reading...

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