The Day worked with Visible Government Online Inc., an information technology and services company in Brunswick, Maine, to create a searchable database and interactive graphics on the state pension system.
Free health care for retired state workers has created a massive financial burden for the state. Meanwhile, the state has only set aside a tiny fraction of the money needed to pay the bill, which could total $16.2 billion between 2007 and 2037.
Retired public school teachers have been paying all or part of their retiree health insurance premiums since the start of the retirement board plan in the mid-1950s. Many state retirees do not contribute toward their premiums, or contribute a few dollars a month.
Private companies’ defined benefit pension plans, which must meet federal standards for prudent management, are becoming rarer. State governments continue to offer defined benefit pensions, but they don’t have to follow the same regulations.