In my Wall Street Journal op-ed this weekend I point out that overcoming resistance from government unions to pension reform is only half the battle. Legislators in many states have crafted benefits that are as good, and in two-thirds of states actually better, than those enjoyed by workers, and that's another reason legislatures have been slow to enact meaningful reform while unfunded liabilities keep rising.
Above is an example from Arizona where legislators enjoy a pension multiplier nearly twice as high as the average state worker. That results in a pension significantly higher for a legislator even when the government worker has the same final salary and has worked an equal number of years in government. Recently Arizona amended its pension benefits for legislators, but only for new lawmakers, and the multiplier, though lower than it was, is still a premium over that enjoyed by government workers. The example above is for a worker or legislator who has served 20 years and retires with a final salary of $100,000.