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State Pension Plans had a Reprieve in Fiscal 2018

Moody’s Investor Services reported in September that based on their analysis, overall U.S. state “adjusted net liabilities (ANPL) declined in fiscal 2018 due to healthy investment returns” from the previous year. Higher interest rates over that period also contributed to the improvement. Moody’s study ranked states based on their liabilities as a percent of their state revenue. They reported Illinois at the top of their list, with liabilities over 500% of state revenue, followed by Kentucky, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maryland, each with over 235%. North Carolina was at the bottom of the list, with the lowest level of liabilities as a percentage of state revenue. In the same report, Moody’s projected another improvement for fiscal 2019, due to favorable investment returns and higher discount rates in 2018, but a decline in fiscal 2020, as discount rates and asset returns declined in fiscal 2019.