Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Shout out to Eckstrom

A big shout out to S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom (“Pension plan shortfall demands lawmakers’ attention,” The Columbia Star, March 11, 2022) for bringing to our attention the severely underfunded state retirement pension plan which, according to Eckstrom, is obligated to “eventually pay out $25 billion more in pension benefits than the plan will have on hand to make those payments.” Eckstrom states this is “nearly two and one-half times the state’s general operating budget.”

The problem of unfunded liabilities is not peculiar to S.C. alone but is being experienced by governments across the nation, including our federal government, with a total unfinded liabilities of $122 trillion, which, in four more years, will approach $157 trillion. By 2034, payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 77 percent of scheduled benefits (i.e. Social Security, Medicare, etc.), as reported by Myra Adams ( Real Clear Politics, “Unfunded Govt. Liabilities—Our Ticking Time Bomb,” January 10, 2019).

“There are no painless options for making up a shortfall of this size,” Eckstrom stated, “and a continuing failure to address this problem only allows for an ever expanding crisis. The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem.”

Thank you, Comptroller General Eckstrom for having the courage to bring this matter to the public’s attention. It cannot be ignored any longer.

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