Saturday, November 3, 2012

The 20 Worst Funded Government Pension Plans in the United States

Alicia Munnell in her new book, State and Local Pensions: What Now?, lists the 10 worst state and local pension plans:

State Plans

1. Illinois SERS (State Employee's Retirement System)--only 37.4% funded.

2. Kentucky ERS (Employee's  Retirement System)---only 40.3% funded.

3. Missouri DOT and Highway Patrol---only 42.2% funded.

4. Indiana Teachers---only 44.3% funded.

5.  Connecticut SERS---only 44.4% funded.

6.  Illinois Universities---only 46.4% funded.

7. West Virginia Teachers---only 46.5% funded.

8. Oklahoma Teachers---only 47.9% funded.

9. Illinois Teachers---only 48.4% funded.

10. Rhode Island ERS---only 48.4% funded.

Local Plans:

1. Atlanta Board of Education Fund--only 17.4% funded.

2. Providence Employees Retirement System---only 34.0% funded.

3. Pittsburgh Municipal, Police and Firemen Pension Funds---only 34.3% funded.

4. Little Rock City Police Pension and Relief Funds---only 39.0% funded.

5. Omaha Police and Fire Pension Fund---only 39.3% funded.

6. Dover [Delaware] General Employee Pension Fund---only 43.7% funded.

7. Philadelphia Municipal Retirement System---only 47.0% funded.

8. Little Rock City Firemen's Relief and Pension Fund---only 48.0% funded.

9. Chicago Municipal Employees Annuity Benefit Fund---only 50.8% funded.

10. Omaha Employees Retirement System---only 52.9% funded.

Munnell writes: 2009 pensions contributions amounted to about 4.6 percent of total state and local revenues.  Assuming an 8 percent return [on pension assets] .and thirty-year amortization beginning in 2014, this rate would rise to only 5.1%. If funding were based on a lower assumed rate, the share would rise further. At 6 percent, pension contributions to fully fund benefit promises would increase to 9.55 of state and local budgets; at 4 percent they would amount to 14.5 percent.
This btw is one reason Bernanke wants to boost stock prices. The higher he gets stock prices, the less pressure there is on state and local governments to make contributions to their pension funds. The problem with Bernanke's scheme is that he has to keep accelerating the money pumping to prop up the stock prices and at some point this becomes highly price inflationary.

In addition to sitting around for Bernanke to push up stock prices, what else are governments doing to ease the pension burden?

According to Munnell 9 states have already suspended COLA increases for current and future retirees and 31 have reduced benefits for new hires.


  1. I am shocked that CalPERS is not listed. Wow. How bad must these guys be?

  2. Just go on Social Security Disability and SNAP food stamps and stop being a slave of these psychotic parasites/monkeys. Time for atlas to shrug...Do it now!

  3. What's the emigration rate for each state and how soon before they prevent residents from leaving?

    1. What I want to know is: our congress etc. retirement funds.

  4. "What else are governments doing to ease the pension burden"?

    You'll probably soon find increases in traffic fines (and related costs) and as many fees as they can cobble together to help sustain these systems.

  5. I noticed that Illinois is #1, with state and local plans comprising 20% of the list. I'm from Illinois. I can recall when Illinois had a 4% sales tax and no income tax and state services, as shabby and inept as they were, managed to get funded. Today state services are still shabby and inept but that's costing us a 9%+ sales tax and 5% income tax, not to mention crippling local property taxes and all kinds of escalating fees and fines such as revenue generated (stolen) by red light cameras blanketing Chicago and now seeping into the suburbs. Yet the state is perpetually broke. Statezilla - corruption and public employee unions - are on the rampage.

    1. Makes me wonder whether Obama will retire in Illinois or in Hawaii?! This surely explains why he prefers flying around in AirForce One.

  6. Democrats + Unions = Bankruptcy!

  7. Now what we should expect from our government laws where no value of our future.

  8. I strongly suggest that we must figure out facts that cause trouble in these government backed pension plans. We can do this. Govt. must invite suggestions from public at large.

  9. I hope they all fail. They recepient of gov't largese have been living comfortable on the backs of those who have their money forcefully taken from them as it will be a perfect payback to see them pennyless in their old age and suffering their just deserts.