Source: Bloomberg

Thanks to decades of mismanagement by politicians from both parties, Connecticut has one of the largest pension funding deficits in the country, amounting to one fifth of its annual economic output. The system needs a complete overhaul. Fortunately, models exist. Consider New Brunswick, Canada, which moved to a shared-risk system in 2012. Instead of promising full, generous pensions, the government guarantees only a “base” level of benefits and pays added “ancillary” benefits if circumstances allow. Regular stress tests determine what the government can afford: If it falls short, it can increase required contributions or reduce benefits — within a narrow, agreed-upon band. If performance improves, the changes are reversed in an agreed-upon order.