For years, teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other government employees could count on a pension to help them get through retirement. The financial crisis has changed that—perhaps forever—as officials are confronting insurmountable losses and rethinking how benefits are paid out and how pension funds make money. State and local governments have a choice: Either drastically lower retirement benefits or make increasingly risky investments to pursue high returns. In The Washington Post, Warren Buffett called pensions “ticking time bombs” and looked at how widespread and significant these pension troubles are.
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