What if I work for the government?

That's a different story. Traditional pensions are still offered by about 84% of state and local governments. How come? Simple: It's hard for a politician to get elected, or re-elected, on a platform that vows to take away the traditional pension gravy train.

That said, given the budget challenges in many states, many public-sector pension plans do not have enough money set aside to cover all the future payouts promised to current workers. That doesn't bode well for taxpayers in those states; short of a miraculous stock market rally that pushes all the plans into overfunded status, at some point the government is going to have to find the money to pay the retirees. And that probably will require higher taxes.

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