Public Pensions

Coins in Jar on Table

Awareness has grown across the country and abroad for the challenges associated with funding public pensions. At a minimum, the U.S. has $1.2 trillion in unfunded state and local pension liabilities. Without reform, individuals will lose out on a secure retirement and taxpayers will be left holding the bill.

Led by Ellen McGrattan, Director of the Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute, and Kurt Winkelmann (PhD ‘87), University of Minnesota Senior Fellow, we are developing a comprehensive research-based approach to public pension policy design. The project aims to use the tools of economic analysis to create a framework, language, and applications for evaluating policy tradeoffs that all stakeholders can understand and support. Working with faculty across the University, the project will take into consideration legal, political, and market-based barriers in order to make meaningful policy change.

Gears with clock and dollar sign

Public Pension Policy Brief Series

Our Public Pensions Policy Brief Series translates and communicates policy relevant economic research on public pension design for elected officials, legislative staff, and other policymakers.

Presentation room full of audience members

Pension Policy Events

Our Public Pensions Event Series includes a variety of events geared for academics, policymakers, and community leaders.


Stacks of coins

Pension Policy News

Find out the latest news involving our public pension project.