Magician Amos Levkovitch performs at the Magic Castle in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, 2009. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Bloomberg) — A record-setting run for U.S. stocks and an expanding economy aren’t solving one of the biggest challenges facing cities and states — how to pay for retiree benefits.

This week’s move by California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the nation’s largest, to scrap a decade-long bet on hedge funds underscored that there’s no magic bullet to dealing with mounting costs. Halfway across the country, the plan for Texas counties is devoting more pension assets to hedge funds to boost returns. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie put off pension contributions to avert budget cuts.

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