Reversal of Fortune: Inside Pensions and the Erosion of Retirement

Published on
February 21st, 2020
28 minutes

The Big Story – Tiananmen to Hong Kong: The Fight for Democracy

Reversal of Fortune: Inside Pensions and the Erosion of Retirement

The Big Story ·
Featuring Edward Siedle, Roger Lowenstein, Teresa Ghilarducci, Leo Kolivakis, Paula Bailey, David Meikle, and more

Published on: February 21st, 2020 • Duration: 28 minutes

How did the promise of a stable pension and a happy retirement, once the pillar of the American dream, become a threat to the solvency of state governments across the U.S.? Over the past decade, the funding-gap for public pensions has exploded to record levels. While blame is often placed on politicians short-changing contributions, hardline union leaders, and a host of other factors, one largely misunderstood and ignored component is the management of the pensions themselves. As many of their assets failed to deliver expected returns, pensions doubled-down on high-risk, high-fee investments, hoping to shore up more money. That shift in investments has eroded transparency, which has made it increasingly difficult to follow the money – not only putting at risk the retirement of millions of Americans, but the funding of state budgets and the health of the entire economy. Filmed in New York, Massachusetts, Arizona, Florida, Rhode Island and and other locations in 2019 and 2020.