10 Worst-Off State Pension Funds
In 2010, a study on state pension funds by Joshua Rauh, of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, and Robert Novy-Marx, of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, predicted Louisiana would face a "day of reckoning" and fiscal insolvency by 2017, sharing that fate with Oklahoma.
While critics trounced the study as fear-mongering, officials in that state have been battling to chip away at its $18 billion unfunded liability through such proposals as increasing employee contribution requirements.
The constitutionality of pending public pension bills spearheaded by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is being debated and implementation looks to be delayed.
In 2010, two groups gave dismal reviews for Connecticut's public Pension plans, criticisms that coincided with its highest unfunded pension liability in more than two decades
The Pew Center on the States cited Connecticut as one of only eight states underfunding more than a third of its pension liability. Less than 48% of these obligations are funded, and Connecticut's unfunded Pension and Medical liability is nearly $42 billion.
Education Sector, an independent think tank that challenges conventional thinking in education policy, cited the state as having among the highest unfunded pension liability per capita in the nation, second only to Alaska (a state that despite moving employees to a 401(k) style plan in 2005 is still chipping away at a lingering $11 billion shortfall, even as legislators debate bringing back pensions as an employee option).
This year, amid a debt rating downgrade by Moody's Investment Services, Gov. Daniel P. Malloy began touting a new funding plan he claimed would make the state employee pension system fully funded within 20 years.
--Written by Joe Mont in Boston.
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