90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

States Look To Increase Retirement Age, Change Benefits For State Workers

Across the country, state retirement pension funds are facing a $1 trillion shortfall, and that has many lawmakers looking to rewrite those retirement plans.

This year, 14 states increased the retirement age. For example, in Massachusetts, the State Senate has already voted to raise the minimum age from 55 to 60 and the age for full retirement benefits from 65 to 67.

Sixteen states also voted to change the rules this year, so that new, and in some cases current, state workers will have to chip in more for their pensions.

And some states have already moved from a defined benefit pension, where workers are guaranteed a monthly check for life, to a 401-K program, which is much less generous, and transfers the risk from the state to the worker.

As Chris Christoff, reporter for Bloomberg News puts it, “The only thing guaranteed about 401-K programs is how much a worker puts into it, not how much money they get out of it.”

Guest:

  • Chris Christoff, Bloomberg News state house bureau, Lansing, Michigan

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 30 2 Comments

How Athletes Are Getting ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’

Mark McClusky says for elite athletes today, pushing boundaries and breaking records is all about "the aggregation of marginal gains."

October 30 11 Comments

A Computer Model Forecasts Ebola’s Future Path

With the virus in Africa, the U.S. and Europe, experts have created a computer model to predict where it could go next.

October 29 Comment

Reporter Crosses Into Syria To Tell Stories Of Fighters

Holly Williams of CBS discusses some of the people she's interviewed, including women soldiers on the frontlines.

October 29 9 Comments

How Far Have We Come Since The Financial Crisis?

Or are we already going backwards? We ask Michael Lewis, author of books including "Flash Boys" and "Liar's Poker."