A report this month from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-oriented oversight group, underlines the severity of the problem across Massachusetts. Pension costs and health care for current and retired municipal employees continue to squeeze local budgets: Those costs grew 23 percent from 2007 to 2013.
Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he hopes the state Legislature acts to put an end to anyone being able to secure pension credit for time they did not work, even if they now will be required to pay a nominal amount for that time. "Clearly, there should be a legislative fix," Widmer said.
“A variety of factors account for this reality, including legislation to enhance benefits and provide early retirement incentives,” the report said. The MTF's report also noted that the retirement systems had failed to achieve what it called “the 8 percent or 8.25 percent target for annual earnings on pension assets.”