Public pensions across the country generally calculate future liability by assuming an 8% rate of return. “The problem with that is the 8 percent assumption is totally bogus,” says Connecticut columnist George Gombossy, noting that that public pension returns there have averaged just 5.7% for the past ten years. Most other states have similar problems with overly rosy projections that do not track reality. When that happens, pension funds have funding shortfalls. Assuming 8% but getting 5.7% means you will be 20% short at the end of ten years.
More about public pension liabilities at IVN.