Pew Charitable Trusts may be overplaying its hand with the sector that reports on state administrations. A recent report faults retirement programs that are not "fully funded." [ Susan K. Urahn, director, The widening gap, 2012, at ]

If Pew's favored approaches were indeed "commonly accepted" as its spokespersons claim, then most states would be following them, but that is not the case. [ Christopher Wills, Associated Press, State pension shortfall ballooned in 2010, Boston Globe, June 19, 2012, at ]

Pew's positions are undermined by slipshod analysis and political arrogance. Whether pensions should be funded by prepayment, like annuities, or mostly from concurrent payment, like Social Security, is a political choice. Pew employees are not our elected officials and have no legitimacy when cloaking their opinions as the advice of unnamed "experts" or as the only reasonable approach.

Pension funds are very-long-term investments--several decades. Short-term tut-tutting about losses in the 2009 recession should be tempered, for example, with comparisons of gains in the late-1990s boom, but Pew entirely lacks an honest and realistic perspective. It is apparently aiming at scaremongering instead and deserves to be ignored.