California's Pension Crisis

How a pension deal went wrong and cost California taxpayers billions.

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Sam Harnett / Capital Public Radio

Are Public Pension Benefits Excessive? State Workers Say 'No'

November 28, 2016

California faces a $240 billion unfunded pension liability. But retired state workers who receive pensions say they are tired of drawing public blame.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Insight With Beth Ruyak

California’s Pension Crisis: What Can We Learn From Illinois?

October 13, 2016

As California continues to navigate the shaky waters of funding billions in state pensions, Illinois could serve as an example of what to avoid. WBEZ’s Dan Weissmann and Cheryl Eason from CalPERS have different opinions on the comparison.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

State Government

When It Comes To Pensions, Illinois Is California's Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come

October 10, 2016

As California’s public-employee pension crisis grows—with taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars, and no clear plan for how to pay—other states are facing similar problems and have lessons to teach. Illinois is one of those states.

Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

State Government

Why The Dot-Com Bubble Is Key To Understanding California’s Growing Public Employee Pension Debt

September 19, 2016

The mounting debt California faces in covering public employees' pensions can be traced back to the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s — when the state chose to make these benefits a lot more generous. That decision proved to have lasting implications.

Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Insight With Beth Ruyak

Exploring The Pension Crisis In California

September 19, 2016

When California lawmakers cut a deal to increase public employee pensions, the state had a very different economic climate. We’ll talk with LA Times reporter Jack Dolan about the pension gap and what he’s learned about it.

The Pension Gap

September 18, 2016

It was a deal that wasn’t supposed to cost taxpayers an extra dime. Now the state’s annual tab is in the billions, and the cost keeps climbing.