State Retiree Benefits Fact Sheet – Connecticut

  • December 18, 2007
Connecticut has double the trouble of most states: a severely underfunded pension system and some of the steepest bills in the country coming due for retirement health and other non-pension benefits. The state funded its pension bill at 100% in 2006, but has often fallen short of funding its whole annual contribution. The state's actuaries have calculated the non-pension bill at $21.7 billion—a figure that does not include benefits for teachers. No money has been set aside yet for this liability, which amounts to about $6,186 per capita, based on the population of the state. That figure is larger than that faced by any other state and far higher than the $774 median for the country. Nonpension benefits for state employees are based on labor negotiations that occurred in the late 1990s—an agreement that is in place until 2017, according to the Connecticut comptroller's office. To move toward full funding of this obligation, the state's annual contribution would be $1.6 billion—four times more than the $393 million in non-pension benefits that it paid for current retirees in 2006.