Oregon pension funding better than most

Oregon pension funding better than most

BY BRANDON SAWYER

A recent Pew Center on the States report found that most states are struggling to meet the long-term costs of their public-employee pensions and retiree health care benefits, largely due to the lingering effects of investments made before the financial crisis. In fiscal year 2010 there was a $1.38 trillion gap between public-sector retirement obligations and assets set aside, a 9% increase from 2009. Oregon fared much better than most states but needs improvement on pension funding. The state had a $60.1 billion long-term liability for retirement plans in 2010 and set aside $8 billion less than was recommended, according to Pew.

Top 10 states for funding of public sector pensions, 2010
Rank 2010 State Public pension liability Percent funded
1 Wisconsin $80.8b 100%
2 (tie) North Carolina $79.6b 96%
2 (tie) South Dakota $7.5b 96%
4 Washington $61.7b 95%
5 New York $156.6b 94%
6 Delaware $7.9b 92%
7 Tennessee $35.2b 90%
8 Oregon $59.3b 87%
9 Wyoming $7.7b 86%
10 Georgia $81.1b 85%


Top 10 states for funding of state retiree health care, 2010
Rank 2010 State Retiree health-care liability Percent funded
1 Arizona $2.3b 69%
2 Alaska $12.4b 50%
3 Wisconsin * $2.5b 38%
4 Ohio * $43.2b 32%
5 Oregon $767.6m 31%
6 North Dakota $162.0m 30%
7 Virginia * $5.9b 26%
8 Utah $510.4m 22%
9 Kentucky $8.8b 15%
10 Colorado $2.2b 14%

SOURCE: Pew Center on the States, 2012

*Data from 2009.