Report claims NC pension plan underfunded by billions. What about other states?

North Carolina’s state pension plan has racked up more than $19 billion in unfunded liabilities, according to a new report.

The report – from the Pension Integrity Project, an initiative of the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank – estimates state pension systems across the nation will likely remain at historically high debt levels – but that North Carolina is doing better than most.

According to the North Carolina Treasurer’s office, the state pension plan had a market value was $112.5 billion as of Sept. 22. There are 357,649 beneficiaries receiving monthly payments, and 644,975 active and former employees who are members but not yet collecting pension benefits. The total monthly distribution of benefits funds is $600 million.

Leonard Gilroy, senior managing director of the Pension Integrity Project, said pension funds have to figure out how to fund benefits that will be distributed years from now.

“It’s, what do we need to put in today to make sure 20, 40, 50 years from now, so there’s enough money in the kitty for when they retire,” he said, adding that unless the market is more favorable to some of the pension systems, the debt could mean some states will have major issues meeting their obligations without some other kind of intervention. Triangle Business Journal

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Author: William Randle