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Study: Connecticut Has “The Worst” Pension System in the Nation

December 15, 2017 By Staff
Study: Connecticut Has “The Worst” Pension System in the Nation

Connecticut's public pension plans are funded at a dismal 19.7 percent, forty points behind top-ranked Wisconsin, which funds its pensions at 61.5 percent.

Connecticut has the worst public pension system in the nation, according to a new study released by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

On three measures of public pension liabilities and funding, Connecticut ranks poorly compared to many of the other 49 states.

ALEC’s 2017 rankings:

  • Total Unfunded Liabilities: $127 billion (#39 of 50 states, down from #34 in 2016)
  • Unfunded Liabilities Per Capita: $35,731 (#49 of 50 states, down from #47 in 2016)
  • Funding Ratio: 19.7 percent (#50 of 50 states, same as 2016 and down from 22.8-percent funding in 2016)

ALEC confirmed Connecticut is “The Worst” in a short follow-up paragraph.

Connecticut ranks last with a dismal 19.7 percent funding ratio, down 3.1 percentage points from last year. Connecticut is one of four states to set retiree benefits through collective bargaining and is unique in that the legislature does not have to consent to contracts for them to go into effect. A total of 124 contracts have been passed without a vote in either chamber in the legislature.

ALEC also confirms that, as a result of Gov. Dan Malloy’s (D-Conn.) agreement with state employee unions to extend the amortization period to 2046 – in effect, kicking the can down the road –”the fund will have relatively fewer assets generating investment income over the next two decades as a result of this delay.” This, ALEC says, makes “a combination of higher taxes, reduced state services, and pension benefits cuts becomes more likely in future years.”

Unions, meanwhile, claim that because they have made some small sacrifices on already-generous benefits, the state should raise taxes on families and businesses.

(H/t The Yankee Institute, which has more on the impact of Connecticut’s unfunded pension liabilities)