Pensions ‘spike’ troubles state officials

Deb Erdley has an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on how lawmakers are starting to pay attention to the looming crisis in state pension plans.

The only quibble I have is use of the term “spike”. A spike looks like this. In terms of our pensions, a “spike” implies a one year jump, followed by a decline (i.e. a graph that would come to a point).

In contrast, pension contribution would have to rise dramatically in 2012, and would stay high for 20 years or so. The proper metaphor might be a steep-sloped plateau.