The Public-Sector Pension Bubble: Time to Confront the Unmeasured Cost of Ottawa's Pensions
AbstractFair-value accounting reveals Ottawa’s employee pension obligations to be larger and more volatile than official figures, a problem shared by European and US state governments. This exposes taxpayers to an unmeasured $65 billion funding shortfall. To keep pace with benefit accruals and stop the gap from growing, contributions in the latest fiscal year would have had to be almost double what was actually paid in. Taxpayers risk finding that the responsibility to back-fill the funding hole falls to them – and potentially finding that fears of sovereign defaults by governments with opaque balance sheets and big exposure to public employee pensions will drive up the cost of borrowing.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.D. Howe Institute in its series e-briefs with number 108.
Length: 6 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published on the C.D. Howe Institute website, November 2010
Pension Papers; fair-value accounting; Canadian public-sector pensions; defined-benefit (DB) plans;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2010-12-11 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-AGE-2010-12-11 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2010-12-11 (All new papers)
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- Colin Busby & William B.P. Robson, 2011. "Impulse Spending: Canada's 2011 Fiscal Accountability Rankings," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 142, September.
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- William B.P. Robson & Alexandre Laurin, 2012. "Federal Employee Pension Reforms: First Steps - on a Much Longer Journey," e-briefs 140, C.D. Howe Institute.
- James P. Bruce, 2011. "Protecting Groundwater: The Invisible and Vital Resource," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 136, February.
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