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Changes Shore Up $3B Oklahoma Pension Liability (Sep 29, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The head of the state's largest public pension system says recent changes approved by the Legislature and strong investments have decreased the unfunded liability of the pension by nearly $3 billion.

James Wilbanks with the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System said Thursday the pension is on track to reach 100 percent funded status within 22 years. Wilbanks says the pension system's funded ratio has improved from 47.9 percent to 56.7 percent.

Lawmakers last session passed a bill that requires lawmakers to fund any cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, granted to those receiving pensions. Legislators had previously granted a 2 percent COLA to pensioners every two years, typically during an election year, without providing a funding source. That COLA assumption was calculated into projections for the pensions.

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