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Public pensions are being overly optimistic — but not in the way you think

from Crain's Chicago Business

The proximate cause of this column is an article in the New York Times, detailing the travails of a tiny government office that decided to withdraw from Calpers, the California state pension system, in order to switch to a 401(k) system. Officials at the office thought this would be a simple matter since their members were fully paid in. Only it turned out it cost them more than $500,000 to make the switch because, when they went to leave, Calpers said, "We meant fully funded if you stay, not fully funded if you leave." more

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