Just how bad are the 50 states’ pension debts?
How “in the red” is your state for pensions? According to 2014 data from Truth in Accounting’s State Data Lab, most states owe billions in pension debt. Keep reading to find out just how much pension debt your state owes.
The top three states for unfunded pension debts due are Illinois ($112 billion), New Jersey ($85 billion), and California ($63 billion). Illinois’ pension debt is so staggeringly high that it can’t simply be written off due to a higher population — the state is facing a pension crisis.
South Dakota and Oregon both reported pension surpluses, meaning that neither state has any unfunded pension benefits. South Dakota reported a surplus of $26 million, while Oregon reported $66 million. Other US states — Illinois, New Jersey, and California in particular — would do well to follow the good example set forth by Oregon and South Dakota. However, most states are in the red for pensions, making these two fiscally sound states an anomaly. The national average amount of unfunded pension liabilities due in 2014 was $12.56 billion.
Want to learn more about your state’s finances? Check out Truth in Accounting’s State Data Lab.