State pension checkup: Better, still not great

Tim Fitzsimons Mar 25, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

State pension checkup: Better, still not great

Tim Fitzsimons Mar 25, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

States’ pension funds are better off today than they were during the Great Recession, but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy.

Russell Walker, Vice President of Wilshire Consulting, said “in the depths of the financial crisis … the funding ratio dropped down to 64 percent. That funding ratio is what’s known as the asset to liability ratio. That means for every $100 governments promised beneficiaries, they only held $64.”

But today that ratio is at around $80. The economy isn’t entirely to blame for that down-in-the-dumps number from 2009. Keith Brainard, research director for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, said some states, like Illinois, Connecticut, and Kentucky, “have chronically shorted their pension contributions both when the economy was strong and when the economy was not so strong.” 

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.