The Day’s investigation into the state pension system included working with Visible Government Online Inc., an information technology and services company in Brunswick, Maine, to create a searchable database and interactive graphics. The information used to build the database was acquired through Freedom of Information requests filed by The Day.
Free health care for retired state workers has created a massive financial burden for the state. Meanwhile, the state has only set aside a tiny fraction of the money needed to pay the bill, which could total $16.2 billion between 2007 and 2037.
Retired public school teachers have been paying all or part of their retiree health insurance premiums since the start of the retirement board plan in the mid-1950s. Many state retirees do not contribute toward their premiums, or contribute a few dollars a month.
Private companies’ defined benefit pension plans, which must meet federal standards for prudent management, are becoming rarer. State governments continue to offer defined benefit pensions, but they don’t have to follow the same regulations.
Dan Livingston, a Hartford attorney who represented the unions in the 2011 State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition agreement will answer questions about the state’s pensions and employee benefits for The Day and readers on Tuesday, Jan. 14 from noon until 12:30 p.m. Please submit questions via Twitter using #ctpensionproject or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will also be able to submit questions during the live chat in the window below.