11/11/14 Pension Crisis

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The mid-term elections are over.  At the state level, some incumbents were reelected.  In others, there are new governors.  And new legislatures.

Whether Republican or Democrat-led, each state has a monumental task awaiting them.

States have made pension promises to public sector workers they cannot keep.  They’re in a pension crisis.  And it’s getting worse.

We examined the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports for about half the country.  27 states.  This report details the fiscal health of a state — including its pension funds.

It ain’t pretty.

These states have more than half a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities.  They’re short $592 billion in future pension payments.  This works out to a 25-hundred dollar debt for every man, woman and child.

This doesn’t even include retiree healthcare benefits.  That’s estimated to be in the hundreds of billions.

There are several reasons these states got into this predicament:

–    Bloated government with too many employees;
–    Politicians promising exorbitant pensions;
–    State pension contributions spent elsewhere;
–    State workers not contributing to their own pensions;
–    Poor investment decisions;
–    And overly-generous pension rules.

Some states dole out pensions to employees with as little as five years of service.

The list of states and their pension predicament is on our website.

[*Note: This script was updated on 11/18/14 to reflect the more accurate total of $592 billion shortfall, update the pension shortfall for Nevada, and to provide a new link to the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System Comprehensive Annual Financial Report FY-2013.]

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[Each state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is listed here:
Alabama
http://comptroller.alabama.gov/pdfs/CAFR/cafr.2013.ala.pdf

Arkansas
http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/accounting/Documents/cafr2013.pdf

Arkansas Public Employees Retirement Plan
https://www.artrs.gov/Forms/ATRS_2013_Annual_Report.pdf

Arkansas Teacher Retirement Plan
https://www.artrs.gov/Forms/ATRS_2013_Annual_Report.pdf

California
http://www.sco.ca.gov/Files-ARD/CAFR/cafr13web.pdf

Florida
http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/AA/Reports/2013CAFR.pdf

Georgia
http://sao.georgia.gov/sites/sao.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/2013 CAFR Final.pdf

Idaho
http://legislature.idaho.gov/audit/2013cafr.pdf

Idaho Public Employee Retirement System
http://www.persi.idaho.gov/documents/investments/FY13/AR-FY2013.pdf

Illinois
http://www.ioc.state.il.us/index.cfm/resources/reports/cafr/fy-2013/

Iowa
http://das.sae.iowa.gov/financial_reports/2013_cafr.pdf

Maine
http://www.maine.gov/osc/pdf/finanrept/cafr/cafr2013.pdf

Maine Public Employees Retirement System
http://www.mainepers.org/PDFs/CAFRS/CAFR13.pdf

Maryland
http://finances.marylandtaxes.com/static_files/revenue/cafr/cafr2013.pdf

Maryland Pension and Retirement System
http://www.sra.state.md.us/Agency/Downloads/CAFR/CAFR-2013.pdf

Maryland Transit Administration
http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office_of_Finance/Documents/Documents as of FY 2014/2013 final CAFR.pdf

Michigan
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/budget/CAFR_FY_2013_444277_7.pdf

Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/orsschools/MPSERS_CAFR_Final_445095_7.pdf

Michigan Judges Retirement System
http://michigan.gov/documents/orsjudgesdb/JRSCAFR13–Final-3_445093_7.pdf

Missouri
http://dor.mo.gov/pdf/financialstatreport13.pdf

Nevada
http://controller.nv.gov/FinancialReports/CAFR_pdf_files/FY13All.pdf

Nevada Public Employees’ Retirement System Public Employees Retirement System
p://www.behindtheheadlines.net/sections/bthl/story_links/NVPERS CAFR FY2013_KIDQA.pdf

New York
https://www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/word_and_pdf_documents/publications/cafr/cafr_13.pdf

North Carolina
http://www.ncosc.net/financial/13cafr/2013_Comprehensive_Annual_Financial_Report_bookmarks.pdf

Ohio
http://obm.ohio.gov/stateaccounting/financialreporting/doc/cafr/2013/cafr_2013.pdf

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
https://www.opers.org/pubs-archive/investments/cafr/2013 CAFR.pdf

Ohio State Teachers Retirement System
http://issuu.com/strsoh/docs/2013_cafr?e=7775993/6677225

Oklahoma
http://www.ok.gov/OSF/documents/cafr13.pdf

Oklahoma Pension Fund report
http://www.state.ok.us/~ok-pension/reports/FINAL-2014 Q2 Oklahoma State Pension Commission IPA.pdf

Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS)
http://www.opers.ok.gov/Websites/opers/images/pdfs/CAFR-2013-OPERS.pdf

Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System (OFPRS)
[Main website]
http://ok.gov/fprs/Actuary_Report/index.html

Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System (OFPRS)
[Audited statement]
http://www.ok.gov/fprs/documents/2014 Financial Statements.pdf

Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System (OFPRS)
[Actuarial Statement]
http://ok.gov/fprs/documents/2014 Actuary Report – GASB Supplement.pdf

Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System (OPPRS)
http://www.ok.gov/OPPRS/documents/CAFR 2013.pdf

Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System (OLERS)

Oklahoma Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges (URSJJ)
http://www.opers.ok.gov/Websites/opers/images/pdfs/CAFR-2013-URSJJ.pdf

Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma (TRS)
http://www.ok.gov/TRS/documents/2013 CAFR.pdf

Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Retirement Plan (WCRP)

Oregon
http://sos.oregon.gov/audits/Documents/2014-04.pdf

Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP)
http://www.oregon.gov/pers/docs/financial_reports/2013_cafr.pdf

Pennsylvania
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=4574&&PageID=473437&level=2&css=L2&mode=2&in_hi_userid=2&cached=true

Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS)
http://www.sers.state.pa.us/pdf/Press_Releases/2014-06-24-CAFR-Release.pdf

Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS)
http://www.psers.state.pa.us/content/publications/financial/cafr/cafr13/2013CAFR.pdf

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (*** not a pension program ***)
http://www.phfa.org/forms/annual_report/2013_Annual_Report.pdf

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
http://www.paturnpike.com/geninfo/PTC_CAFR_13-12_final.pdf

South Carolina
http://www.cg.sc.gov/publicationsandreports/Documents/Comprehensive Annaul Financial Report/CompleteCAFRFY13.pdf

Tennessee
http://www.tn.gov/finance/act/cafr_fy2013/cafr_fy13.pdf

Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS)
http://www.treasury.state.tn.us/TCRSAnnualReport2013.pdf

Texas
http://www.texastransparency.org/State_Finance/Budget_Finance/Reports/Comprehensive_Annual_Financial/13/pdf/CAFR-2013.pdf

Utah
http://finance.utah.gov/reporting/documents/13UTCAFR.pdf

Virginia
http://www.doa.virginia.gov/Financial_Reporting/CAFR/2013/2013CAFR.pdf

Washington
http://www.ofm.wa.gov/CAFR/2013/CAFR13.pdf

Washington, DC
http://ocfo.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ocfo/publication/attachments/CAFR_Web 2013 Revised.pdf

West Virginia
http://www.state.wv.us/brim/Finance/2013 CAFR/2013 CAFR Final.pdf

West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System
https://www.wvretirement.com/Forms/2013-CAFR.pdf]