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Rivin, Abigail and Yunji Kim. 2014. "The Pension Problem: Myth or Reality? The State of Public Pensions in Upstate New York." Upstate Case Studies, Dept. of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University.

Media and popular culture have described public pensions as an enormous threat to local government fiscal health. Are public pensions the problem? This report investigates the claims about public pensions with a focus on New York State. We find that New York State’s public pension fund is not running out of money, not overestimating rate of return, and not underfunded. However, the combination of low contribution rates in the past and external pressures, such as the stock market crash, tax cap, and state mandated spending have intensified the effect of public pensions on local government budgets.

The presentation of this report presented at the State Austerity Policy and Creative Local Response (2014) conference is available. Additionally, an executive summary is also available.

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Subject: Upstate NY Fiscal Stress