Public employee pensions underfunded by US$4.1 trillion

Many state plans still under water.

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water markThe funded status of state-level DB public pension plans reveals that public employee retirement promises are underfunded by US$4.1 trillion, according to a report.

The State Budget Solutions report, Promises Made, Promises Broken—The Betrayal of Pensioners and Taxpayers, finds that state public pension plans are just 39% funded.

The following states have the lowest funded ratios:

  • Illinois – 24%;
  • Connecticut – 25%;
  • Kentucky – 27%;
  • Kansas – 29%; and
  • Mississippi, New Hampshire and Alaska – 30%.

“This tragically amounts to $4.1 trillion in broken promises. Promises to taxpayers that public officials were managing funds appropriately and to pensioners who, quite frankly, did nothing wrong,” says Bob Williams, president of State Budget Solutions, a non-profit institution dedicated to fiscal responsibility. “Too many Americans worked their entire lives to now learn their states and local governments cannot provide what they promised.”

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