Pension and Retiree Health Care Funding

Many states continue to face shortfalls between assets and liabilities

Pension and Retiree Health Care Funding

Many state-run retirement systems face significant shortfalls between the pension benefits that governments promised to their workers and the funding available to meet those obligations.

Some pension plans for state and local workers are well-funded, but unless changes are made in a number of other states, retirees, workers, and taxpayers will have to contend with rising costs and potentially unpaid promises for years to come.

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Hoover Dam Bridge
Issue Brief

The State Pension Funding Gap: 2018

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Issue Brief

At $1.24 trillion, the 50-state pension funding gap—the difference between a state retirement system’s assets and its liabilities—improved slightly in 2018 primarily due to strong investment performance.

Additional Resources

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Agenda for America

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.

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States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.