State Retiree Benefits Fact Sheet – Tennessee

  • December 18, 2007
Tennessee stands out nationally for the strength of its pension system—but it has not set aside any money to address the bill coming due for its retiree health benefits. The state is exceedingly close to achieving full funding for its pension funds, in part because it has a strong record of paying the full annual required contribution each year. The state also has been extremely stable in its funding ratio, probably because it has one of the highest percentages of fixed income investments and a smaller investment in stocks than other states. On the non-pension side, retiree health care and other benefits are modest relative to most other states, amounting to $382 per capita compared with a median unfunded liability of $774 per capita. Even so, Tennessee's $2.3 billion unfunded obligation for its non-pension benefits for state employees is more than six times its small, unfunded liability for pensions.