gotta remember they don't get some stuff us corporate america guys get (disability insurance, stock options, plus they also pay into their pensions just like a 401K).
My husband is a teacher - same or similiar pension as state/gov't workers.
I put portion of my salary away (same as he does percentage wise) plus match from my employee and and I have .7 million after 27 years. We make the same money. I have 6 years to go and hope to have 1 million or close to it.
So I wont' have quite enough to have quite the same pension as he does (about 18K apart) BUT....
when we die, our kids won't get the money he put into his pension - the gov't keeps it! yes you heard right, they keep it (yeah - you SHOULD wonder why the pension system is in trouble)
when we die, our kids get the cash that's in MY 401K.
summary: so they get a bit more yearly during retirement, but in the end their kids get screwed.
also remember if I wanted to I could take an extra 18K per year from my nest egg and still have left over for my kids after I die.