State Retiree Benefits Fact Sheet – Georgia

  • December 18, 2007
Georgia is a national leader in keeping up with its pension funding. It also is a model for other states because before pension benefits can be changed, Georgia evaluates how much the proposed change is going to cost and whether the state can afford it. The healthy status of its pension system enables leaders to focus on the state's unfunded liability for retiree health and other non-pension benefits. A 2005 valuation put Georgia's unfunded liability at $15 billion—$5 billion for state employees alone and $10 billion for teachers and other school employees. The state employee portion is nearly twice the small, unfunded bill for the state's entire pension system. (In many states, non-pension benefits for teachers are calculated at the school district level and not reflected in overall state figures.)