A Louisiana think tank is offering a guide to understanding state pension plans $20 billion Unfunded Accrued Liability and how the debt affects taxpayers, teachers, police officers and other public services.

The Big Debt, published by the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, describes how the debt grew and the critical challenge facing Louisiana, according the institute.

“Pension reform often gets overlooked because voters do not understand how it relates to them,” Pelican Institute President Kevin Kane said in a news release. “But bold reform is needed and we hope this report helps people appreciate the scope and significance of this issue. We also hope Gov. Bobby Jindal and the legislature elect to face up to this problem in the coming legislative session. Meaningful reform can save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars while protecting vital services such as education and policing.”

The guide can be found online here: http://www.thepelicanpost.org/2012/01/23/the-big-debt/