Public pension funds face real funding challenges in a majority of states.
In fiscal year 2010, public pension funds as a whole were only 75 percent funded and had a shortfall of $757 billion between what they should have set aside to pay for the benefits promised to workers and retirees and what they had on hand. While some states, like New York, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, have well-funded and well-managed plans, the majority of states face significant challenges. Thirty-four states were less than 80 percent funded -- a threshold many experts recommend for health pension systems.
This problem is the result of a decade of states taking pension holidays and raising benefits without paying for them, not the Great Recession. Investment gains of 20 and 13 percent in 2009 and 2010, respectively, were not nearly enough to overcome losses from the financial crisis, and pension funding levels continued to drop. The weak returns of less than 1 percent at the end of 2011 also show how hard it will be for states to invest their way out of this crisis. Initial projections suggest that funding levels will be stagnant in fiscal year 2011, and in some states will continue to drop...
Thursday, August 9, 2012
The Truth About the Coming Public Employee Pension Crisis
Even HuffPo gets it: