Steven Greenhut on the Possibility of Calif. Public Pension Cuts

|

Credit: 401(K) 2013 / photo on flickr

Public-employee pensions are not protected when a city goes belly-up, according to a ruling Wednesday by the judge overseeing Stockton's much-watched federal bankruptcy case. Judge Christopher Klein's few words have re-energized the state's disheartened pension-reform movement – and left the nation's most-powerful pension fund reeling. One can't go a day in Sacramento without hearing about a "historic" piece of legislation or a "groundbreaking" decision, but the Stockton case, as Steven Greenhut notes, could change everything on the pension front. Klein said in the verbal ruling that pensions are just another contract: "Impairing contractual obligations – that's what bankruptcy is all about."

Advertisement