PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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.
Spotlight

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson are hitting the road to cover the elections. Our Tumblr brings you behind the scenes.

Robin and Jeremy

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

February 4 4 Comments

Susan Tedeschi And Derek Trucks Talk Music And Marriage

The duo talks about their new album, "Let Me Get By," and about making music together as Tedeschi Trucks Band.

February 4 Comment

Do Babies Understand FaceTime And Skype?

It's reassuring for parents and grandparents far away from their little loved ones, but what do babies get out of it?

February 3 16 Comments

Telling The Story Of ‘The Invisibles’: White House Slaves

Of the first 18 presidents of the United States, 12 were slave owners, even though some spoke out against slavery.

February 3 111 Comments

Why Bernie Sanders Resonates With Young People

At the Iowa Democratic caucuses, he won 84 percent of voters aged 17 to 29, compared to Clinton's 14 percent.