The Trillion Dollar Gap: Georgia

Underfunded State Retirement Systems and the Roads to Reform

Georgia is a top performer when it comes to managing its long-term pension liability, but needs to improve how it handles the bill coming due for retiree health care and other benefits. The Peach State has funded 92 percent of its total pension bill—well above the 80 percent benchmark that the U.S. Government Accountability Office says is preferred by experts—and has consistently met its actuarially required contribution during the past 10 years. Georgia enacted policy reforms in 2008 and 2009, introducing a hybrid defined benefit and defined contribution plan in 2008 for new employees and those who decide to opt-in, and barring state employees hired after July 1, 2009, from receiving cost-of-living increases on their pensions after they retire. Georgia is one of 29 states to set aside any assets to cover long-term liabilities for retiree health care and other benefits, although only 4 percent of the total $19.1 billion cost has been funded.

The Trillion Dollar Gap Georgia Pension Funding