by Brian Sonntag
Washington Policy Center
February 20, 2014
Policy Brief
The Seattle, Washington pension system is in trouble. A statement by city leaders recognizes significant risks from the rising financial burden of unfunded liabilities. The City pension system today carries an unfunded liability of nearly $1 billion, a staggering financial burden that must be shouldered by a community of less than 635,000 residents. The Seattle City Council needs to enact comprehensive pension reform that takes a new approach. The goal of reform should be to provide sound retirement income for retirees, but at a lower cost to both Seattle residents and to City employees. The Seattle Retirement Interdepartmental Team Report lays out viable options, including options for how it would implement any change. Reformed pension policies would ensure that costs are sustainable and that public employees receive the retirement benefits they have earned. It would protect taxpayers and strengthen the city’s financial position and credit rating.

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