Public pensions put state, cities in crisis

Tom Abate:

The recent layoff of 80 police officers in Oakland could be the harbinger of things to come as government officials find that public employee pension deals made when the stock market was booming are helping bust their budgets today.
“It’s regrettable, but we had no choice,” said City Council President Jane Brunner of the layoffs that were Oakland’s response to a growing public pension crisis.
Forced to make a $30.5 million budget cut – Brunner said that’s more than the city’s discretionary spending – Oakland had asked police officers to pay 9 percent of their salaries toward their pensions and accept a later retirement age for new hires.