Median U.S. Public Pension Funding on the Rise: Report

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In 2014, the majority of states (33) saw their pension funding levels rise – and median funding levels for all 50 states is on an upward trajectory, according to a report provided to Pension360 by Loop Capital Markets.

On the other end of the spectrum, 16 states saw their funding levels decline, with Michigan seeing the largest drop.

The key findings, summarized by Ai-Cio:

The median funded level for the 50 states and District of Columbia grew to 71.5%, up from 69% in 2013. The mean funded level in 2014 was 73.1%, compared with 71.9% the year prior.

Despite the increases, only Washington, DC, South Dakota, and Wisconsin were found to be fully funded, with five states recording funded levels above 90%. A total of 18 states had funded levels greater than or equal to 80%, an increase from 14 in 2013.

However, while a total of 33 states increased funding in 2014, 16 states continued to fall further into pension debt. These states declined enough to bring the overall national funded level down from 73.1% in 2013 to 72.6%.

Worst off is Illinois, which remained stable over the year at 39% funded.

Over five years, 30 states have lower funded levels, with Michigan declining the most from 79% in 2010 to 61% in 2014. Funding for Kentucky, New York, and Pennsylvania dipped 14% over the same time period.

Meanwhile, Maine and Oklahoma had the largest five-year gains, with each seeing their funded level increase by 15%.

The report analyzed the funding data of 247 state-level plans and 141 municipal plans.

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