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State Pension Plans Are Taking a Turn for the Worse

Every year, discussions regarding how to help underfunded state pension plans take center stage. According to the article State pension funds are awash in red ink: Here’s your share on CNBC’s website, an ugly picture is painted. Only eight states are at least 90% funded, and of those, only two are over-funded. Seven states are under 60% funded, and two of those are funded under 40%. In New Jersey, the state with the highest pension liability per person of $10,648 coupled with the second-lowest funded ratio state of 38%, electoral ballot questions have been discussed to force the state to fund the multi-billion dollar gap in the state pension plan. If the state is forced to fund, what effect would that have? Would education or healthcare systems take a massive hit, or would it be a “three billion dollar tax increase on the people,” as quoted by Governor Chris Christie? As more states face similar issues, the state pension system may come under additional scrutiny.