Unfortunately there is no way we can avoid a Greek solution (i.e. default). These numbers are especially staggering since they are only for the state employees and doesn't take into account all of the municipalities which are also in dire straits. Before you start jumping up and down and blaming the Democrats for this mess only 50% of the top ten have Democratic controlled legislatures. Its not just a Democratic problem, although its important to note that most Unions, including public employee Unions give the majority of their money to the Democratic candidates, but rather a Politician issue. So long as we continue to elect Politicians that only want to get reelected and get rich at our expense they will continue to feed us bullsh*t and tell us that it's warm chocolate. Lets not forget that they are all members of these same bankrupt pension plans so they have a vested interest in keeping it solvent just long enough so they can get their money.
Snapshots of 10 states with biggest pension gaps
Few states have enough money in their retirement systems to cover all the pensions they're required to pay in coming decades. Economic problems have decreased the value of their investments, and many states have simply failed to contribute their full share to retirement systems.
Experts say retirement systems should have assets to cover at least 80 percent of the money they owe in the long run.
Here's a look at the 10 states with the lowest funding percentages in 2010, according a new report from the Pew Center on the States:
1. Illinois: Had 45 percent of the $138.8 billion it owes long-term. Consistently failed to make its full pension contribution from 2005 to 2010. Lowered pension benefits for future employees in 2010. Now officials are negotiating a proposal to reduce cost-of-living increases for both current and future employees.2. Rhode Island: Had 49 percent of the $13.4 billion it owes long-term. Consistently made full pension contributions from 2005 to 2010. Overhauled its pension system last year, creating a new hybrid retirement plan, cutting cost-of-living increases, increasing the retirement age and more.3. Connecticut: Had 53 percent of the $44.8 billion it owes long-term. Made full pension contribution three times from 2005 to 2010. Cut pension and retiree health benefits in 2011. The governor has proposed a plan to reach 80 percent funding by 2025.4. Kentucky: Had 54 percent of the $37 billion it owes long-term. Failed to make full pension contribution from 2005 to 2010. Lawmakers raised the retirement age and changed benefit calculations in 2008 and have suspended cost-of-living increases the next two years.5. Louisiana: Had 56 percent of the $41.4 billion it owes long-term. Failed to make full pension contribution three times from 2005 to 2010. Lawmakers approved benefit cuts for new employees in 2009 and 2010. In 2012, a hybrid pension plan was created for new employees.6. Oklahoma: Had 56 percent of the $36.4 billion it owes long-term. Failed to consistently make full pension contribution from 2005 to 2010. Increased the retirement age for new employees in 2011 and limited cost-of-living increases for retirees.7. West Virginia: Had 58 percent of the $15 billion it owes long-term. Failed to make full pension contribution twice from 2005 to 2010. Cut pension benefits in 2011.8. New Hampshire: Had 59 percent of the $9 billion it owes long-term. Failed to make full pension contribution twice from 2005 to 2010. Cut benefits in 2009 and 2011, including raising the retirement age and increasing contributions from current and new employees. Increased contributions struck down by court.9. Alaska: Had 60 percent of the $16.6 billion it owes long-term. Made its full pension contribution twice from 2005 to 2010. Created a 401(k)-style pension plan in 2006, but most employees remain in old defined-benefit plan.10. Hawaii: Had 61 percent of the $18.5 billion it owes long-term. Paid its full pension contribution every year but one from 2005 to 2010. Increased contributions from taxpayers and employees in 2011 and also trimmed retiree cost-of-living increases.
Calif. six-figure pension club grows exponentially
KCRA 3 has obtained new numbers showing California’s list of retired government workers collecting six-figure pensions is growing exponentially.
Marcia Fritz, a pension reform advocate and a Democrat, has compiled data from CalPERS, CalSTRS and UC Retirement System, showing the $100,000 pension club has grown from 16,000 names two years ago to more than 21,000 names today.“Two years ago, the payouts were $1.5 billion,” Fritz told KCRA. The president of California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, headquartered in Orangevale, added, “Today there are over $2.6 billion.”That’s an increase of 73 percent in just two years.Former Sacramento State University President Donald Gerth is now the fourth highest name on the list, collecting a pension of $295,086, according to records released by the California Public Employees Retirement System.Sacramento State University has a total of 34 names in the $100,000 club. UC Davis has 223 names on the list, including those working for the UCD Medical Center.The city of Stockton may be facing bankruptcy, but has 98 retired government workers with six-figure pensions. By contrast, Sacramento has just 65 names on the list.Today, a new Pew study shows California may be in the hole when it comes to paying for future pensions.“Our gap right now is $500 billion that we owe in unfunded pension liabilities,” Fritz said. “It’s over $30,000 a household.”But labor unions representing government workers say a small minority of retirees are draining 15 percent of the assets -- and something has to change.“Don’t ask me to defend the high paid chancellors and their folks at CSU who are earning $300,000 a year,” said Terry Brennand, a senior government relations advocate for Service Employees International Union.“This is less than 1 percent of all the retirees. These are not my members,” he added. “They are not the rank and file, these are not the people who teach your kids.”Democrats at the state capitol know they have to do something.“We will pass comprehensive pension reform this session and I’d like to do it as soon as possible,” said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.June 28 is the legislative deadline to approve a pension reform package in time for it to appear on the November ballot. Democrats know they have to deliver on promises of pension reform in order to convince voters they can be trusted with an $8 billion tax increase on the November ballot.Meanwhile, Marcia Fritz projects the pension tsunami will only intensify, with 100,000 members of the $100,000 Pension Club in just five years.“At the rate we’re going, we’ll be paying $12 billion a year just to those making $100,000,” Fritz stated.