• Re: At $1.5 trillion, California has nation's largest public pension de

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    (The Center Square) – California has a larger unfunded pension
    liability than any other state in the nation, a new report
    released this week.

    The report, released by the American Legislative Exchange
    Council (ALEC), found that unfunded pension liabilities
    nationwide have climbed to $8.28 trillion, “or just under
    $25,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.”

    The report found that California has the greatest amount of
    unfunded pension liabilities of any state, totaling over $1.5

    That amount is a rough estimation of how much the average
    pensioner will receive for the projected duration of their lives
    in retirement, also factoring in the number of pensioners,
    active workers and beneficiaries. After subtracting the
    pension’s assets and expected return on investments, the
    unfunded actuarial liability is found. It doesn’t include other
    pension benefits such as state-paid health care.

    According to Ballotpedia, there were 82 public pension systems
    in California in 2020. Of those, 10 were state-level programs
    and 72 were administered locally. As of 2020, more than 4.4
    million Californians were members of the various pension
    systems, according to Ballotpedia.

    ALEC’s report reviewed 290 state-administered pension plans
    across the nation and their assets and liabilities from fiscal
    years 2012 to 2020.

    The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and
    the California Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) are the two
    largest pension systems in the nation. The pension funds have a
    combined portfolio of more than $570 billion and have 2.7
    million Californians as members, according to the state
    controller’s office.

    CalPERS was 70.6% funded as of June 30, 2020 and had $163
    billion in unfunded liabilities, while CalSTRS was 67% funded
    with $106 billion in unfunded liabilities as of November 2021,
    according to the Reason Foundation. In November, CalPERS
    announced changes that would require some public employees in
    California to contribute more of their pay to retirement.

    There is no state in the nation that has fully funded its
    pension plans. Wisconsin has the highest funding ratio in the
    nation at 56%, while New Jersey has the lowest at under 18%.

    Pension funding health is important not only for participants of
    the funds but taxpayers who contribute the lion’s share of the
    funding. A poorly-funded pension will require more tax dollars
    in annual contributions, crowding out other priorities.

    ALEC’s report calls for “sound pension reform,” saying that
    “poor assumptions, over promising benefits, chasing returns, and
    political investment strategies plague public pensions across
    the country.”

    California made efforts to reform its pension system through the
    California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013. The act
    took effect on Jan. 1, 2013, and placed compensation limits on

    One such limitation polices pension “spiking,” which entails a
    public employee adding more responsibility or working overtime
    in the last years of their employment to inflate how much they
    should be receiving in annual benefits from pension funds.

    https://www.thecentersquare.com/california/report-at-1-5- trillion-california-has-nations-largest-public-pension-debt- load/article_b77e67bc-e842-11ec-ba2b-83e39b9717cd.html#tncms- source=infinity-scroll-summary-sticky-siderail-latest

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