The brief’s key findings are:
- In projecting pension costs, state and local plans assume their workers will live longer than private sector workers. Is this assumption accurate and, if so, why?
- The analysis confirms that public sector workers – particularly women – have lower mortality rates than their private sector counterparts.
- The question is whether lower mortality reflects the nature of the job or the nature of the workers.
- The answer is the workers – specifically their education levels. Controlling for education, the gap between public and private workers disappears.