May 2, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Brian Balfour (919) 834-2099
New website allows taxpayers to calculate their public pensions
Raleigh – With assistance from the Civitas Institute, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research has launched www.calculateyourpublicpension.com/NC/ to allow North Carolina taxpayers to calculate how much they would receive in retirement benefits if they were public employees.
State and local governments across the country are struggling to provide basic services with budgets that are heavily burdened by unrealistic pension promises made to public workers. Pension benefits in the public sector are typically far more generous than those available to most private-sector workers.
CalculateYourPublicPension.com shines a light on the discrepancies between public and private pensions and draws attention to the immense budget deficits caused by unfunded and underfunded public pension obligations. The website also features data for 11 other states.
“Our generous system of defined-benefit pensions for state retirees is placing an increasingly heavy burden on hardworking North Carolina taxpayers,” said Civitas Director of Policy Brian Balfour. “Recent research revealed that our state pension system is no longer fully-funded, and could require as much as half a billion in additional taxpayer dollars annually in order for it to once again achieve fully-funded status.”
On www.CalculateYourPublicPension.com visitors can click on an interactive map to estimate their pension benefits after a career as a general government employee and see how much money they would need to save to guarantee a similar stream of income as a private-sector retiree. Multiple links permit the user to create benefit comparisons between states or to download the data.
For example, to match the pension benefits of a North Carolina state employee who began employment in January 1975 and retired at age 62 after 35 years of service with a final annual salary of $90,000, a worker in the private sector would need an annuity worth as much as $1.02 million.
According to Balfour, “State lawmakers should look into modernizing the state pension system and transition to a 401(k)-style system of financing. Otherwise, taxpayers can expect more tax hikes in the future in order to pay state retirees to do nothing.”