$2.7 Trillion in Promises
Dollars in the trillions are most readily associated with national governments' finances. However, the figure of $2.7 trillion is the estimated spending over the next 30 years by the 50 states for their employees' pensions, and retirement health care benefits. While these obligations in aggregate were 73% funded as of fiscal year 2006 (the latest data available), the subsequent decline in equity prices has undoubtedly pushed the funding level to an even lower percentage. In addition, state governments are currently in much weaker financial condition to fulfill their promises to their employees.
Click here for "Promises with a Price: Public Sector Retirement Benefits" from the Pew Center on the States.