Retirement confidence has hit a wall. It's bad enough when workers in private employer plans are fumbling for a revolutionary turnaround with their accounts, but when lawmakers can't pay up on pension promises, the need for a better alternative becomes evident.

Late last year, The Business Insider revealed 11 states at risk of running short on pension funding. Hardest hit is Middle America. In Kansas, lawmakers are debating just this week whether to shift public employees to smaller retirement checks under the state's current benefits formula (with some workers getting no pension, but lump-sum account balances) or kick up retirement benefits but have employees add to the pot by chipping in up to 8 percent of their paychecks.

Many argue there's an entitlement excuse for giving pubilc workers lifetime pensions and richer benefits, and that it doesn't justify the damage to state budgets. Republican Senate Finance Committee member Orrin Hatch of Utah took the floor recently to address dangerously underfunded public employee pensions:

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.