New York State’s public pension plans are among the best-funded plans in the nation, but they have become increasingly costly for taxpayers. This study examines potential explanations for the recent rise in government contributions to the retirement plan for general state and local government employees. Results indicate that increases were driven primarily by plan investment losses and the plan’s practice of adjusting government contributions to offset unexpectedly high or low investment returns. Plan benefits to current retirees are more generous than in other states, but recent cutbacks will sharply curtail future retirement benefits for new hires.
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