Earlier this year, the Pew Center released a study estimating that there is a one trillion dollar gap between what states had promised workers in retiree pensions and benefits, and the money they currently had to pay for it all.
In an attempt to remedy the gap, lawmakers in Colorado, Minnesota and South Dakota have voted to reduce annual cost-of-living increases on pensions. Not surprisingly, retirees in each state have filed lawsuits.
Stephen Fehr has been following the pension disputes for stateline.org. He explains what the states and pensioners have to lose, and how the outcomes of these cases could affect people across the country. And Gary Justus shares his side of the story. A retired teacher, he is spearheading the lawsuit against the state of Colorado to re-instate annual pension raises.