Prairie State Blue: The Problem with Pensions:

Defined benefit plans are not inherently unsustainable. They made sense and were solvent when salaries were lower, payout levels were lower, employees retired later and died earlier. With higher salaries and especially stepped-up pay schedules, earlier retirements, increased longevity, and payouts of up to 75% or higher on last year or so of salary, the system fails. In fact it has to fail.

What I like about the article is that the author has put out numbers we can play with. It’s not perfect — see the comments — but earns points for clarity and as a springboard for further discussion about reform.