The Widening Gap Update
States are $1.38 Trillion Short in Funding Retirement Systems
About Pew's Analysis
Pew’s analysis of states’ public sector retirement benefit funding, its fourth since 2007, uses states' own actuarial assumptions about how much money they expect the pension fund to earn, on average, on investments now and in the future. The numbers do not reflect the benefit cuts that many state legislatures enacted in 2010 and 2011 to shore up their pension funds in the future; the condition of some states may have improved because of those reforms.
Rhode Island, for example, reduced its unfunded liability by an estimated $3 billion through a series of benefit cuts enacted in 2011.
Pew assessed each state’s management of its pension and retiree health care obligations as of fiscal year 2010 based on funding levels and contribution policies. States were rated as "solid performer," "needs improvement," or "serious concerns."
See the full methodology on page 9 of the PDF.
This interactive presents data on states' funding of pensions and retiree health care as of fiscal year 2010.
Pension and retiree health care costs are rising sharply in the states. Learn more about Pew's work on retiree health benefits.