States’ Pension Gaps Widening, Pew Report Says

The gap between many states’ pension and health care benefit commitments and the money set aside to meet them is growing wider, representing a continuing and growing threat to their financial stability and creditworthiness, according to a new report from the Pew Center on the States. The report updates the center’s April 2011 report using fiscal 2010 data, which is the most recent available. It shows that 34 states have pension obligations funded below the 80% level actuaries suggest as the minimum. Collectively, the data reveals a $757 billion gap between pension obligations and money set aside to meet them, a 75% funding level nationwide. That’s up from $660 billion in last year’s report. North Carolina, Washington, South Dakota and Wisconsin all boasted pension obligations 95% funded or better. Illinois and Rhode Island both clocked in at under 50%.

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