Detroit

Detroit 8th U.S. Municipality to File for Bankruptcy

Cities across the country facing similar issues

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Detroit may be alone among the nation's biggest cities in terms of filing for bankruptcy, but it is far from the only city being crushed by a roiling mountain of long-term debt.

At the heart of Detroit's problem is a growing unfunded debt on benefits owed to current and future retirees — some $3.5 billion, according to its emergency manager, Kevyn Orr — which mirrors a circumstance being seen across the U.S.

From Baltimore to Los Angeles, and many points in between, municipalities are increasingly confronted with how to pay for these massive promises. The Pew Center for the States, in Washington, estimated states' public pension plans across the U.S. were underfunded by a whopping $1.4 trillion in 2010.

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