Public Pension Plans’ Funded Ratios Have Been Declining for Years


Over time, changes in a pension plan’s funded ratio, also referred to as a pension’s funded status, can show the rate at which the plan’s debt is growing.

In 2001, West Virginia was the only state where public pension plans had an aggregate funded ratio of less than 60 percent. However, 18 years later, in 2019, nine states faced aggregate funded ratios below 60 percent.

In that same time period, the number of states with funded ratios below 70 percent (but above 60 percent) grew from three to 14. Together, these numbers show that, as of 2019, 23 states had less than 70 percent of the assets on hand that they need to be able to pay for promised future retirement benefits.


Author: Jordan Campbell

Publication Date: 29 January 2021

Publication Site: Reason