The Pension Grand Bargain: A New Reform Model for Cities

Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, and St. Louis have pension liabilities similar to, or greater than, those in pre-bankruptcy Detroit—liabilities that threaten the provision of core city services. Like Detroit, these cities also have robust local philanthropic communities, as well as high levels of household poverty and stagnant property-tax revenues. Philanthropic assets in Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, and St. Louis are more than sufficient to support a Detroit-style grand bargain—if paired with contributions proportionally equivalent to those made by other Detroit stakeholders (corporations, government, and labor)—to reduce such cities’ pension debt, as well as to improve municipal services and/or reduce taxes.

Click here to read the full publication →