At the same time, questions are being raised as to whether society can still afford to provide the kind of benefits offered to some public-sector retirees.

As private-sector companies have pulled out of the pension business over the last several decades, public-sector workers appear to have held onto benefits. Using 2010 Census Bureau data, the New York Post found that the average New York retiree received an annual benefit of $13,100 while state and local government retirees received an average of $27,600. 

A 2005 Texas study found that 92 percent of public-sector workers participated in a pension program compared to only 36 percent of those in the private sector.

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