New accounting rules still leave Illinois pensions sucking air

That's from a new study by Pew Charitable Trust. Overall, states have racked nearly $1 trillion. It reported:

The nation’s state-run retirement systems had a $934 billion gap in fiscal year 2014 between the pension benefits that governments have promised their workers and the funding available to meet those obligations. That represents a $35 billion decrease from the shortfall reported for fiscal 2013. The reduction in pension debt was driven primarily by strong investment results, with public plans in fiscal 2014 averaging a 17 percent rateof return.

Except for Illinois. In terms of net amortization as a share of covered payroll, Illinois ranked third worst in the nation, behind Kentucky and New Jersey.  Here is Pew's definition of net amortization:

Net amortization measures whether total contributions to a public retirement system would have been sufficient to reduce unfunded liabilities if all expectations had been met for that year. The calculation uses the plan’s own reported numbers as well as assumptions about investment returns. Plans that consistently fall short of this benchmark can expect to see the gap between the liability for promised benefits and available funds grow over time.

Not good news--again--for Illinois.

Read why Americans need to learn about the nation's most ignored war.

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