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Detroit recent bankruptcy that left its 20,000+ retirees with less than 1/5ths of their pensions. This has left many people concerned about the finanial stability of the various state retirement plans. States with rosy projections that report high funding percentages, but may not be as well off as they claim, is a concern considering that Detroit was considered 80% funded up until 2011.

Thomas Donlan writes that pension funds have “hidden the results with dubious financial reporting.” He cites as just one example Detroit, which claimed as late as 2011 that their pension funds were 80 percent fully funded. New auditors found a $3.5 billion shortfall, a hole that pushed the city into bankruptcy.

State Budget Solutions found the most poorly funded states were:

The study found the five most poorly funded states are Illinois (24%), Connecticut (25%), Kentucky (27%), and Kansas (29%), along with Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Alaska tied at 30% funded.

What are the total unfunded liabilities of the five most poorly funded states?

How does the State Budget Solution's "percentage funded" compare with those state's own assessments?

  • The non-bolded parts of your question appear to be noise to me. Is all that really necessarily or helpful for someone who wants to post an answer to your question? and is it really necessary or helpful for future visitors who have the same question as you? – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Dec 6 '13 at 22:00
  • @SamIAm, corrected. I am interested at the differences (if any) between the percentage funded reported by the states compared to SBS's methodology. I am also interested in these figures as a $ amount as well as %. – user1873 Dec 6 '13 at 23:13
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    @SamIam - they explain why someone should care. On some SEs, not doing that results in downvotes and disparaging comments :) – user4012 Dec 7 '13 at 6:01
  • SBS link broken – K Dog Jun 8 '18 at 11:19

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