|Data from https://unfundedmichigan.org/|
I was surprised to find that Eaton Rapids is the outlier in a negative way. The City of Eaton Rapids' obligations to her current and future retirees adds up to over $3000 for every man, woman and child within city limits. That compares to roughly $1350 for Charlotte and $70 for Potterville.
On a per-household basis, it amounts to an obligation of $12,000 per household in a community where the median annual income is $40,000 per household.
The biggest portion of the shortfall is due to benefits after retirement and not actual pensions. According to the notes at unfundedmichigan.org:
If I read this note correctly then this shortfall can be reduced by changes in the "collective bargaining agreements" and by changes in "council-adopted policy". That is, those "obligations" can be removed with the stroke of a pen."The City provides retiree healthcare benefits to eligible employees and their beneficiaries. This is a single employer defined benefit plan administered by the City. The benefits are provided under collective bargaining agreements and council-adopted policy."
It is worth noting that only active employees vote on accepting or rejecting collective bargaining agreements. At some point funding benefits for retirees will cannibalize a significant chunk of the funding available to pay for current employee's wages and benefits. My guess is that current employees will vote to reduce retiree benefits so they can enjoy a living wage.