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Posted at 11:21 AM ET, 02/23/2011

The problem isn't collective bargaining

By Todd Eberly

In a report issued last year, the Pew center determined that there was a $1 trillion gap "at the end of fiscal year 2008 between the $2.35 trillion states had set aside to pay for employees’ retirement benefits and the $3.35 trillion price tag of those promises." Since then that gap has only grown and is estimated to now be closer to $2 trillion.

The report continued: "In 2000, just over half the states had fully funded pension systems. By 2006, that number had shrunk to six states. By 2008, only four — Florida, New York, Washington and Wisconsin — could make that claim. In eight states — Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and West Virginia — more than one-third of the total pension liability was unfunded. Two states — Illinois and Kansas — had less than 60 percent of the necessary assets on hand."

In Connecticut, the state government has $9.35 billion in assets in its pension fund, but $21.1 billion in obligations. In Maryland, the state pension and retiree health benefit system is underfunded to the tune of $35 billion. In New Jersey, the state's pensions are underfunded to the tune of $54 billion.

[Continue reading Todd Eberly's post at The FreeStater Blog.]

Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Todd Eberly  | February 23, 2011; 11:21 AM ET
Categories:  Local blog network, Martin O'Malley, Maryland  
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