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Pew Center Reports Gap in State Pension Funding (Jun 20, 2012)

Oklahoma failed to consistently pay its annual pension contribution for state pension systems in full according to a new analysis from the Pew Center on the States. The report covers five years from 2005 to 2010. StateImpact Oklahoma reports in fiscal year 20-10, the state pension system was 56 percent funded and faced a $16 billion funding gap. Pension experts told Pew researchers fiscally sustainable pension systems should maintain at least 80 percent funding. State lawmakers say pension reforms passed in 2011 and 2012 will help reduce the gap, but the researchers concluded Oklahoma’s long-term management of unfunded pension liabilities is cause for “serious concern.”


The Pew study says Oklahoma only paid 70 percent of the recommended contribution to its pension plans in 2010… and just 79 percent of what the state should have paid to fund retiree health benefits. In 20-11 state lawmakers raised the retirement age for new employees to 65 from 62 and capped annual cost-of-living adjustments for retirees to help heal the funding gap. State officials have credited those changes with reducing the Oklahoma’s unfunded liability by as much as six billion dollars.

You can find more information on the Pew study and see it’s analysis at StateImpact Oklahoma. There is a link at KGOU-dot-org.


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