State Retiree Benefits Fact Sheet – Louisiana

  • December 18, 2007
Louisiana has double the trouble of most states. Although the state has been responsible in the last 10 years about meeting its annual required contribution for its pension benefits, past underfunding puts the pension system well below the 50-state norm. It also faces a fairly significant long-term bill coming due for non-pension benefits: nearly $10 billion, of which $7.3 billion is for state employees. The costs, which are dominated by retiree health care, would require an initial annual contribution of $967 million to start the state on the path toward full funding. But funding the required contribution consistently would also reduce the liability to $6.6 billion for the total bill and $4.6 billion for state employees. This is because the interest the state is likely to earn when it consistently invests more money over the long term can be applied to paying down the bill.