Analysis: Illinois public pension plans are 39% funded, 2nd lowest in U.S. | Illinois

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The funded ratio of the Illinois public pension plans is estimated at 39 percent, the second lowest percentage among the 50 states, according to a new analysis from the Tax Foundation based on fiscal-year 2019 data.

The percentage was calculated by comparing the market value of the pension fund’s assets to its accrued pension liabilities. The data comes from Chicago-based Truth in Accounting.

A low ratio points to the state’s pension system being not well-funded, and a higher ratio means that pension fund assets are keeping up with liabilities, according to the Tax Foundation.

Nationwide, 17 states had pension plans whose funded ratio was less than 66.7 percent, while five had funding ratios below 50 percent, the study states.

Historically, state pension funds were classified as defined-benefit plans, which guarantee retirees an annuity for life. More recently, however, states have created defined-contribution plans for new hires, allowing workers to oversee individual accounts and helping states to reduce liabilities over time, the analysis said. 

State Pension Plan Funding Percentages, From Highest to Lowest

Rank State Funded Ratio of Public Pension Plans
1 South Dakota 99%
2 Wisconsin 96%
3 Idaho 94%
4 New York 92%
5 Nebraska 91%
5 Tennessee 91%
7 North Carolina 87%
8 (tie) Iowa 85%
8 (tie) Minnesota 85%
10 Utah 84%
11 (tie) Delaware 83%
11 (tie) Maine 83%
13 West Virginia 82%
14 (tie) Oregon 80%
14 (tie) Oklahoma 80%
16 (tie) Arkansas 79%
16 (tie) Georgia 79%
18 (tie) Florida 77%
18 (tie) Nevada 77%
18 (tie) Virginia 77%
18 (tie) Washington 77%
22 (tie) North Dakota 75%
22 (tie) Ohio 75%
24 Montana 73%
25 (tie) California 72%
25 (tie) Maryland 72%
27 Kansas 70%
28 (tie) Alabama 69%
28 (tie) Wyoming 69%
30 New Mexico 68%
31 (tie) Alaska 67%
31 (tie) Arizona 67%
31 (tie) Texas 67%
34 (tie) Louisiana 65%
34 (tie) New Hampshire 65%
36 Mississippi 62%
37 (tie) Michigan 61%
37 (tie) Missouri 61%
37 (tie) Vermont 61%
40 Massachusetts 59%
41 Pennsylvania 56%
42 (tie) Colorado 55%
42 (tie) Hawaii 55%
42 (tie) South Carolina 55%
45 Rhode Island 53%
46 (tie) Connecticut 46%
46 (tie) Kentucky 46%
48 Indiana 44%
49 Illinois 39%
50 New Jersey 36%

Source: Tax Foundation and Truth in Accounting



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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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