NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Fiscal Stress Arising from State and Local Retiree Health Obligations

Byron Lutz, Louise Sheiner

NBER Working Paper No. 19779
Issued in January 2014

---- Acknowledgements ----

This paper was prepared for the 2013 NBER Conference on State and Local Health Plans for Active and Retired Public Employees. We thank Anne Burton, Jeff Groesbeck, and Lena Yemelyanov for truly outstanding research assistance. The paper would not have been feasible without them. We thank Robert Novy-Marx and Josh Rauh for generously sharing their pension calculations and Michael Morris of the Social Security Administration for providing us with the Social Security mortality rate assumptions. We thank Don Boyd, Greg Duffee, Josh Rauh, Kim Rueben, Winthrop Smith and participants at the 2013 Municipal Finance Conference, the 2013 NBER Conference on State and Local Health Plans for Active and Retired Public Employees, the Federal Reserve Board Lunchtime Workshop and the Cleveland Federal Reserve Seminar Series for helpful suggestions. We also thank the numerous public officials who discussed the details of public sector retiree health care in their state with us. The analysis and conclusions reached in the paper are the authors' alone and do not indicate concurrence by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve or the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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