Big city pension debt hits $383 billion – will you move out?

October 12, 2010 08:06

Chicago tops the list, with an unfunded pension liability of $44.9 billion or about $42,000 per household, followed by New York City at $122 billion or $39,000 per household and San Francisco at $35,000 per household.

Daniel Fisher at


Those cities and counties collectively have promised their municipal unions and other employees $383 billion more than they can reasonably be expected to earn from the assets they have set aside. Extrapolated to all cities across the country, the unfunded liability is $574 billion.

“If people start seeing increased taxes to pay for pensions, without seeing increased services or actually reduced services, they’re going to leave,” he said.

That dramatically increases the tab but paints a more realistic picture of what taxpayers will be asked to cough up in future years when an army of workers retire, and start demanding those rich pensions politicians promised them as a cheap way to get votes.

Here’s some cities and counties to think about leaving before the retirement bill hits.


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