Reagan's breaking of the air traffic controllers union is widely remembered. What's less remembered is the redo of the federal retirement system. Old timers, like me, are under the Civil Service retirement system, a defined benefit system [annuities are based on length of service and salary] with no social security. During Reagan's time (1986) new employees were put on a three level system: social security, a smallish federal defined benefit annuity, and a 401K type investment plan, with matching from the government.
The change was better for the government and employees got more flexibility through the 401k/TSP plan, though they assumed some risk.
From the Times article it seems many states are still where the Feds were before 1986. I'm not clear whether the state pensions are indexed for inflation, which the CSR annuities.