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Zywicki Appears on NBC Nightly News

Professor Todd Zywicki appeared on NBC Nightly News in an October 17 news segment in which anchor Lester Holt and reporter George Lewis examined the stability of retirement funds for public employees.

"The situation nationally is a train wreck that we see coming down the tracks," said Zywicki, referring to the impact that will be felt when pension promises made to public employees meet the harsh reality of cash shortages to pay those obligations.

"A number of states are going to start running out of money when it comes to being able to make good on their pension promises," he explained.

In a study earlier this year, only nine state pension systems (including Virginia's) were rated as solid performers that could be expected to meet their obligations when the costs of retiree health care and other benefits were included. In particular, California's state pension system is half a trillion dollars in the hole at present. Under current regulations, employees can factor in unused vacation, sick leave, and uniform allowances to inflate the pay numbers from which pensions are calculated.

Watch the news segment