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Federal Retirement Costs Outgrowing Social Security Costs

Photo: Oleg Kulakov

Retirement programs for former federal workers are outgrowing funds, resulting with a multi-trillion-dollar shortfall, according to a USA TODAY analysis.

The federal government has not been setting money aside or creating revenue for retirement programs, meaning costs will come through taxes and borrowing, much like Social Security’s payroll tax.

A record $268 billion in pension and health benefits were last year to 10 million former federal workers, an increase of about $100 billion more dollars paid compared to the previous decade.

This resulted with the government paying more money to former public employees than the amount paid to 54 million Social Security beneficiaries.

The retirement programs are facing a $5.7 trillion unfunded liability, a problem similar to Social Security and Medicare.

Financial stress has led the deficit commission, military and others to propose money-saving measures, including having retirees paying more for health care and participate in a corporate-style retirement system.

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