Moody’s released some interesting data last month regarding the adjusted net pension liabilities of U.S. states.
Bloomberg then spun that data into the chart, above.
If you’re a Moody’s subscriber, you can view their full report here.
Otherwise, here’s a summary of the report:
The majority of US states experienced declines in their adjusted net pension liabilities (ANPL) in fiscal 2014, Moody’s Investors Service says. Moody’s ANPL decreased for 27 states, of which, nine saw a decline for a second year in a row. However, the aggregate 50-state ANPL increased marginally to $1.3 trillion due to rising liabilities in some states.
Strong investment returns drove an average pension liability decline of 15.3%, with median returns for larger plans at 16.1%, Moody’s says in “Fiscal 2014 Pension Medians – US States: Robust 2014 Investment Returns Provide Pause in Growth of Adjusted Net Pension Liabilities.”
“Double-digit investment returns contributed to reducing pension liabilities. More timely plan disclosures under Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 67 improve comparison between states,” says John Lombardi, a Moody’s Associate Analyst.
Also in fiscal 2014, most states made budgetary contributions at or close to their actuarially determined contribution (ADC) levels. Thirty-six states contributed greater than 90% of ADC, with 12 contributing between 60% to 90% and only two funding below 60% of their pension costs.
An explanation of “adjusted net pension liability” can be found on page 2 of this report.