Pension Bubble:10 States' Liabilities Exceed Annual Revenues

A new Moody’s report released on Thursday finds that ten states have public pension liabilities that are as big or bigger than annual state revenues.

Illinois’ pension program is the worst, with liabilities that are 241% of its revenues. That represents $133 billion ($10,340 per Illinois resident), or nearly 20% of its gross domestic product, reports Reuters:

After Illinois, Connecticut had the highest pension burden in the country, with a pension liability equal to 189.7 percent of revenues. That was followed by Kentucky, at 140.9 percent; New Jersey, 137.2 percent; Hawaii, 132.5 percent; and Louisiana, s 130.2 percent. Colorado's net pension liability was slightly more than revenues at 117.5 percent and Maryland's slightly less at 99.5 percent.

In terms of dollars, California’s $120 billion pension liability came in second.

Earlier this year the state of Illinois settled Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fraud charges for allegedly shielding the true size of its pension liabilities.


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