You're right, it is a big "if", but at least it's there. I just want to inject a note of hope if I can, for anyone whose pension system is underfunded at this time. That's a bad thing, but "underfunded" does not necessarily mean "doomed". Sometimes in my crazier moments I even think of running for a position on the pension board. I would like to see a change in the investment policy that will keep the retirement plan from being so vulnerable to market downturns. The actuaries say the Seattle system can get itself back into a financially sound condition by significantly increasing employee contributions and employer match. The exact amount of the increase has not AFAIK been determined yet. Our current union contract says under these conditions it can go up as much as two percentage points (i.e. from ~8% to ~10%). That is less than the actuaries' recommendation. Maybe under our next contract contributions and employer match will go up still further. But I don't think we'll have the option of a big increase in contributions next time there's a market crash—that would send too big a slice of the total payroll into the pension fund. So IMO, the only way for the system to survive the next market crash is for it not to be hit as hard as it was this time (lost about 27% overall IIRC). To me, that means we need to use a more conservative asset allocation with less stock market exposure, which will be a "hard sell" when trying to raise the funding level, because of the perception that stocks always return more than bonds over the long term. And the "floor COLA" ordinance needs to be rewritten or even repealed, because as it currently stands it triggers an automatic (and unfunded) increase in benefits every time the funding level gets up to 100%, which in practical terms has meant "every time there's a stock market bubble", and of course, the bubble bursts right after the increase in benefits goes into effect.