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Global Government Debt Is Actually Triple What We Thought, Thanks to Pensions

by Timothy Martin, WSJ:

Government debt in 20 industrialized countries stands at $44 trillion.

But it’s actually a lot more than that, according to a new report. After factoring in public pension and other retirement liabilities, the debt levels nearly triple to a staggering $122 trillion.

That’s the math according to a new report from Citigroup Inc report called, “The Coming Pensions Crisis,” which analyzed government pension liabilities from 20 countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development .

“It is really a ticking time bomb,” said Charles Millard, Citi’s head of pension relations and former head of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the U.S. safety net for private-sector pensions.

To put the unstated debt levels in perspective: The additional unstated $78 trillion in retirement-related debt is equivalent to a single year of global economic output.

Citi researchers measured government pension liabilities, a combination of Social Security and public-sector pension obligations, finding the average country was carrying retirement debt of 190% versus gross domestic product—well above a 100% threshold that many experts consider concerning.

Read More @ WSJ.com

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1 comment to Global Government Debt Is Actually Triple What We Thought, Thanks to Pensions

  • Windrunner56

    As they prepare you to take your pensions. First they float the idea across the bough, then they tell you what the plan is, then poof! It’s gone and CEO bonuses increase 1000%.

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