CONSUMER WATCH -- We've watched it happen in corporate America, big companies saying "tough luck" to retired employees. Now government employees may be forced to face the same reality. From the policeman on the street to the men and women who build and maintain the roads, lots of Americans make their living working for state and local governments. A new study from investment bank CSFB shows that their retirement might cost other Americans dearly. The study says new accounting standards have revealed a $1.5 trillion shortfall in funding for state and municipal worker retirement benefits. Things like retiree healthcare and life insurance. Today, most government workers have their post-work healthcare paid for as they need it. There is no giant investment pool that cities and states can tap to pay for retiree benefits. The authors of the study say tax increases may be the only way to pay for the massive shortfall in funding. They also say governments might have to cut the promised benefits, to help reduce their costs as well, something that's happened quite a bit in the private sector in the past few years.
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