State Retiree Benefits Fact Sheet – Montana

  • December 18, 2007
Montana has been making a yeoman's effort at improving the funding status of its teachers' pension system, which has historically been less well funded than its public employee system. (The teachers' plan was 73% funded at the end of 2006, while the public employee plan was 88% funded.) In 2006, the state contributed twice what its actuaries deemed necessary as a means of supplying extra funding for the teachers' plan. The state generally has done well over the past 10 years at meeting required contribution levels for its public employee plans, but those contribution levels may need to be raised. The way they are currently set doesn't supply enough dollars to reach full funding by an amortization period that conforms to accounting standards. Montana's non-pension benefits are relatively modest. The state does not offer a cash subsidy, but only the “implicit subsidy” that comes from including retirees and typically healthier active employees in the same health plan.