Labor Groups to Meet with U.S. Officials over States’ Pension Shortfalls

September 9, 2010 ( - Labor groups will be invited to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to talk about the shortfall in state employee pension plans that some believe could lead to a new government bailout.

Randy Johnson, the Chamber’s senior vice president for Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits, told news publication The Hill the total shortfall for state pension funds could run as high as $3 trillion. According to the news report, a Chamber spokesperson said the event is in the early stages of development, and it is unclear which unions would be invited to participate or when the session would be held.  

The Chamber hosted a similar conference in July over which union members complained about not being included.  

The Hill said an August report by the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University found government pension programs in as many as 31 states are headed for financial disaster by 2030, and taxpayers will likely wind up paying for unfunded liabilities.  

A report from the Pew Center on the States put the benefit funding shortfall at $1 trillion (see States Face $1 Trillion Retirement Benefits Funding Gap).